MALACANANG yesterday downplayed Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s remarks lumping the Philippines with countries whose nationals are a terror threat and should be barred from entering the United States.
Presidential communications office secretary Martin Andanar taunted Trump, stressing that the Republican presidential candidate’s remarks contradicted his previous remarks which were complimentary to the Philippines which hosts a major real estate project called Trump Tower.
He reminded Trump that he mentioned once that the Philippine is “a special place.”
Andanar said that it was unfortunate that Trump mentioned the Philippines in an anti-immigration speech in a political rally in Portland, Maine.
“In fact, Mr. Trump has even professed his love for the Philippines during the launch of his 57-storey luxury apartment in Makati. He did say, ‘I’ve always loved the Philippines. I think it is just a special place and Manila is one of Asia’s most spectacular cities. I know that this project (Trump Tower) will be second to none’,” Andanar said quoting Trump.
The tower was launched in 2012 and its construction is expected to be completed this year.
Andanar said: “Let it be known that the Philippines and the Filipino people stand in solidarity with other peace-loving countries and individuals in fighting and opposing terrorism in all its forms.”
For his part, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said that Trump is entitled to his own opinion.
“… we’d also like to encourage him to look into the contribution that the Filipino Americans have done and given to the United States. Very productive po ang ating mga tao roon and they have made great contributions. Meron po tayong mga high-profile Filipinos, like Loida Nicolas-Lewis. At marami po tayong mga unknowns who have really done so much … and contributed to the US government so— Pero kung ‘yun po ang opinion niya, well, he is entitled to his own opinion. But we encourage him to look into what the Filipino community has done,” Abella said.
Trump launched new attacks on immigrants Thursday, telling supporters that Somalis and other refugees from “terrorist nations” should be barred entry to the United States.
“We are letting people come in from terrorist nations that shouldn’t be allowed because you can’t vet them,” Trump, who has built his campaign around an anti-immigration platform, said at a rally in Portland, Maine.
“You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time,” he said, reprising a warning that terrorists including members of the Islamic State extremist group will sneak into the United States as refugees.
“This is a practice that has to stop.”
He pointed to the Somali immigrant population as an example of the “thousands” of refugees who have flooded into Maine and other US states and caused problems.
Trump said efforts to resettle Somali refugees — many of them in Minnesota — were “having the unintended consequence of creating an enclave of immigrants with high unemployment that is both stressing the state’s... safety net and creating a rich pool of potential recruiting targets for Islamist terror groups.”
He then listed several immigrants, mostly from Muslim majority countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen — who were arrested for conducting or threatening to carry out violent attacks, teaching bomb-making to recruits, and otherwise supporting terror groups.
“We’re dealing with animals,” he seethed.
Trump caused an uproar last December when he called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States, and he has harangued his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for seeking to allow many times more refugees into the country than President Barack Obama has.