US Pres. Biden calls Marcos Jr. to congratulate him on PHL election win, hopes for greater US-PHL cooperation

US President Joe Biden looks on after landing at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on May 11, 2022, after addressing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International Convention. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)


(Eagle News) — No less that United States President Joe Biden congratulated Philippines’ presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr on his recent election win, saying he was looking forward to “working with the President-elect to continue strengthening the US-Philippine Alliance.”

The White House released the statement on President Biden’s call to Marcos Jr., 64, the son of the late president Ferdinand Marcos who had ruled the country for more than 20 years.

Biden, 79, said he wanted to expand the bilateral cooperation betweent the US and the Philippines on a variety of issues, including the climate crisis, the Covid-19, and the human rights issue.

“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines to congratulate him on his election,” the While House statement said.

“President Biden underscored that he looks forward to working with the President-elect to continue strengthening the U.S.-Philippine Alliance, while expanding bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including the fight against COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, promoting broad-based economic growth, and respect for human rights,” the White House statement read.

As of the latest unofficial count, Marcos Jr., already got over 31.1 million votes, with his rival Vice-President Leni Robredo a very distant second place with just 14.8 million votes.  His lead thus widened to more than 16 million votes over Robredo, the chair of the Liberal Party, who ran as an independent candidate.

Robredo has been largely critical of the incumbent Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.

Marcos Jr., on the other hand, vowed to continue the good programs of President Duterte, including his massive “Build, Build, Build” campaign.

Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr speaks to reporters at the campaign heaquarters in Manila on May 11, 2022. – The son of the late Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos on May 11 claimed victory in the presidential election, vowing to be a leader “for all Filipinos”, his spokesman said. (Photo by Ron LOPEZ / AFP)
A screenshot of the White House statement on US President Joe Biden’s call to Philippines’ presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Courtesy White House)

-Blinken also congratulates Marcos Jr-

Before that, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also sent a congratulatory message earlier in the day to Marcos Jr.

The US official said “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.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 02, 2022 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for a signing ceremony with Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at the State Department in Washington, DC. – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive May 4, 2022 for Covid-19 and will shift to a virtual work schedule, the State Department said. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

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.

The younger Marcos, nicknamed “Bongbong,” will succeed President Rodrigo Duterte, who has waged a controversial war on drugs that had been widely criticized by rights groups.

Campbell, not mentioning human rights, said that “relations under President Duterte really rebounded towards the end, at least at the strategic level.”

After taking office in 2016, Duterte used profanity to denounce Barack Obama after the then-US president raised rights concerns.

But Duterte enjoyed vocal support from Obama’s successor Donald Trump and the United States across administrations has backed the Philippines in maritime disputes with China.

(with an Agence France-Presse report)