The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) expressed its worry over the rule of law in the Philippines in September, along with recent comments from the president that had the potential to strain bilateral relations.
In an emailed statement, AmCham stated the “growing concern over developments that could harm the long-standing optimism of American business to invest in the Philippines.” They added that due to the current happenings in the Philippines, some basic American values that have been long shared with the Filipinos are weakening.
This hesitation by the investors is due to the intensifying war against drugs in the country along with the increasing death tolls due to this.
“Certainly, the illegal drug menace is a serious threat in the Philippines, as it is in the US and elsewhere. However, the increased number of killings during the heightened anti-drug campaign is harming the country’s image, as portrayed by international media, and some investors are now asking whether this campaign reduced the rule of law,” AmCham said in their statement.
It also said that the “language from Philippine leaders” further intensified the problem with regards to bilateral relations between PH and the US. This can be traced back to the comment that Duterte directed towards Obama before their supposed meeting during the ASEAN summit in Laos.
However, AmCham said that they remain optimistic on top of this and that they are committed to strengthen bilateral trade, investment, and cultural ties between the two countries.
“We remain hopeful that these ties will become even stronger in the months and years ahead and are committed to working with the Philippine government and people to continually improving them,” it said.