Philippines is latest foreign customer to book Trump’s D.C. hotel

Photo via trump hotels.com

via AP – First came Kuwait. Then Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Now it’s the Philippines’ turn.

It is the latest foreign government to book rooms or host events at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., riling critics who say such bookings are nothing more than attempts to curry favor with President Trump.

The Philippine Independence Day celebration set for June 12 comes as the country pushes for a free-trade agreement with the U.S. and amid international criticism of its President Rodrigo Duterte for encouraging vigilante killings of drug suspects.

“The Trump hotel may have some political undertones because it is associated with the U.S. president,” Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine ambassador to the U.S., wrote in a column in The Philippine Star newspaper earlier this week. “But since several other embassies have also held their national day celebrations at the Trump hotel which were well attended — I decided — why not do it there, too.”

The Philippine Embassy has sent out 300 invitations for the party to mark the 120th year since the country broke from Spanish rule. Guests, including U.S. senators and Congress members, will nosh on Filipino food and cocktails. The embassy didn’t directly respond to questions on whether the booking was intended to influence the president, referring instead to the ambassador’s column.

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