US congratulates Philippines’ Marcos

Supporters of Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr live stream outside his campaign headquarters after his landslide presidential victory, in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila on May 11, 2022.  (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)

The United States said Wednesday it will seek close security ties with the Philippines under its next president, the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In a phone call, US President Joe Biden congratulated Ferdinand Marcos Jr on his recent election win, the White House said late Wednesday Washington time.

“President Biden underscored that he looks forward to working with the President-elect to continue strengthening the US-Philippine Alliance, while expanding bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues,” the White House statement said, listing the pandemic, climate change, economic growth and “respect for human rights.”

In a congratulatory message earlier in the day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “we look forward to working with President-elect Marcos to strengthen the enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines.”

“As friends, partners and allies, we will continue to collaborate closely with the Philippines to promote respect for human rights and to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific region,” Blinken said.

The top White House official on Asia, Kurt Campbell, acknowledged there “are some historical considerations” that initially may cause “some challenges in the communication.”

“But obviously (the) Philippines plays such a critical, important role and we will seek to continue close partnership in the security realm and increasing trade and economic ties,” Campbell said.

“Our expectation is we’ll be able to continue to work closely,” he said at the US Institute of Peace.

After ruling the former US colony for two decades with support from the United States, which saw him as a Cold War ally, Marcos went into exile in Hawaii in the face of mass protests and with the nudging of Washington in 1986.

The younger Marcos, nicknamed “Bongbong,” will succeed President Rodrigo Duterte.

Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr speaks to reporters at the campaign heaquarters in Manila on May 11, 2022.  (Photo by Ron LOPEZ / AFP)

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