By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has wished the Philippines a “happy” independence day.
“On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I wish the people of the Republic of the Philippines a happy and prosperous independence day,” Pompeo said in a statement dated June 10, and shared by the U.S. Embassy in Manila on Friday (June 12).
“As you commemorate your 122nd year of independence, the United States of America congratulates the people of the Philippines on this joyous occasion,” he said.
Pompeo also touted the relations of the Philippines and the U.S.
“The US-Philippine alliance is fortified by our shared history, rich people-to-people ties, and deep bilateral cooperation. As we stood together during World War II and in the global fight against terrorism, our nations are partnering again to contain and mitigate COVID-19,” he said.
“Our friendship and cooperation stand as a model for ensuring peace, stability, prosperity, and health across the Indo-Pacific.”
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim also posted on Twitter: “Happy Independence Day to all the Filipinos here and around the globe!”
America colonized the Philippines from 1898 to 1946, after Spain.
Pompeo issued the statement after the Philippines announced early this month that it will suspend its abrogation of the visiting forces agreement (VFA) with the U.S. for an initial period of six months. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin cited “political and other developments in the region.”
President Duterte, last February 11, had ordered the termination of VFA. The termination was supposed to take effect in August.