Marcos reaffirms vow to deepen ties with US, other allies
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has renewed his commitment to further boost the Philippines’ relations with the United States and its allied countries, including China.,Marcos, in a social media post, said it was “a great pleasure” meeting US Second Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, Australian Governor-General David Hurley, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai.,“I look forward to deepening our already-vibrant relationships with each country and further exploring areas of mutual interest and benefit to our peoples,” said Marcos.
Emhoff—husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris and the first Second Gentleman in US history—led the White House delegation attending Marcos’s oathtaking last Thursday, 30 June.
Earlier, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babes” Romualdez revealed that Marcos gave him a marching order—to boost the country’s trade ties with the US.,Romualdez has been working with Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno to attract more foreign investors and acquire more investments from the US.,It would not be a problem, according to Romualdez, as the Biden administration is committed to working with the Philippines as the two countries race through time to achieve post-pandemic recovery.,Marcos has repeatedly said that while he is grateful for the economic assistance from the US, he would prefer trade over it as he plans to open up the Philippine economy for more investments to come in.,The new Chief Executive eyes attracting more private investments and partnerships with the US, one of the Philippines’ top trading partners.
“To open the government, the bureaucracy, this administration to the possibility of private-public partnerships, joint ventures between the Philippines and America,” Marcos had earlier said.,On behalf of the Biden-Harris administration, Emhoff congratulated Marcos and stressed the US government’s commitment to cooperating with the Philippines “to promote the peace, security, and prosperity of our two countries.”,The US Embassy to the Philippines said Emhoff and members of the American presidential delegation were welcomed by Filipinos across government, industry, and civil society to celebrate the 75th-anniversary celebration of the US-Philippines diplomatic relations.,“Building on 75 years of diplomatic relations, we look forward to a bright future,” it stated.,Emhoff also met Vice President Sara Duterte to discuss the achievements of the U.S.-Philippine partnership to make education more accessible and inclusive for Filipinos.,“The United States is a dedicated partner to the Philippines in advancing education, promoting economic growth, and protecting human rights,” the US Embassy in Manila stated.,Members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in the Philippines also met Emhoff, who encouraged them to urge fellow youth in promoting climate action, gender equality, inclusivity, and civic participation.,During his visit to the Philippines, Emhoff also paid a visit to the Manila American Cemetery to honor the late American and Filipino service members who sacrificed during World War II.,‘Walk of closure’,Marcos also met with former security officers who served under the term of his late father and namesake, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.,They rendered their final salute in a “solemn and meaningful ceremony” at the Malacañang Palace grounds.,Marcos led the “walk of closure” rites for former security escort officers Capt. Mervyn Espadero, Lt. Col. Delmar Magno, 1st Lt. Menandro Espineli, and Lt. Col. Fe Castro.,Castro was the then-presidential nurse of Marcos Sr., while Magno was from the Office of the Senior Aide-de-Camp who served as the presidential nurse of former first lady Imelda Marcos.,EspinelI was the then-security officer of presidential sister, Irene Marcos-Araneta.,