PH envoy to US sees status quo in Manila-Washington ties whoever wins the election

Published November 6, 2020, 11:56 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Status quo will be maintained in Philippine-United States relations whoever wins in the US presidential elections, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez said Friday.

This combination of pictures created on November 04, 2020 shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden (L) in Wilmington, Delaware, and US President Donald Trump (R) in Washington, DC both pumping their fist during an election night speech early November 4, 2020. (Photos by ANGELA WEISS and MANDEL NGAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“There won’t be much difference in one sense,” the diplomat said during an interview over CNN Philippines.

“We have had very good relations with the United States for all these years whoever sitting at the White House,” he added.

Romualdez pointed this out despite past issues between the Philippine and US governments, including accusations of human rights violations against President Duterte even during under the current administration of President Donald Trump.

Should Trump win, the ambassador expects the American president to continue recognizing the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands which recognized the Philippines territorial claim over the West Philippines Sea over that of China.

Romualdez said he has reached out to the Democratic Party whose candidate is Joe Biden, the vice president under the administration of President Barack Obama.

“We don’t know what the Biden administration will do although we had some discussions with some of their foreign policy advisers at the Democratic Party…they recognize the arbitral win of the Philippines will be maintained,” he said.

Although admitting that Duterte had problems with Obama, Romualdez believes don’t see any problems in a working relationship between Biden and Duterte.

“They might not be the best of friends, they certainly would be able to have a cordial relationship if President Biden becomes the president of the United States,” he said.

At the moment, the ambassador said the presidential elections remain close and final results are expected at the end of the week.

“We’re all surprised that it is very close,” Romualdez said.

“I guess by the end of this week, Friday, we should be able to get a clear indication who will be the next president of the United States,” he added.

Romualdez said there are around 4.3 million Filipino-Americans in the US and around two million were able to cast their votes.