The Philippines is expected to keep warm and friendly ties with the United States under the Biden administration but will not allow any country to disrespect its independence, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
Panelo said President Duterte has already transformed the country’s foreign policy that fosters amity but also promotes sovereign independence.
“The Philippines is no longer a vassal state to any foreign entity and as such, it will not allow any co-equal power to disrespect its independence,” he said.
“We have, therefore, begun to enjoy the fruits of our Head of State’s thrust on diplomacy where our country is considered a friend to all and an enemy to none,” he added.
Panelo highlighted the country’s independent foreign policy after congratulating Biden on assuming the leadership in the United States and wishing him the best. He noted that the country’s ties with the long-time ally are expected to stay robust especially in fighting terrorism.
Biden took his oath as the 46th president of the United States, bringing an end to the turbulent four-year tenure of his predecessor Donald Trump. The new US leader issued a message of unity in his inaugural address and vowed to focus on putting America back together again.
“We expect the President, as our country’s principal diplomat, to maintain and pursue such foreign policy amid the changing circumstances throughout the world, including Mr. Joe Biden’s assumption of the seat of the President of the United States (POTUS) on January 20,” Panelo said.
“It is in this regard that we similarly foresee our country’s relationship with the USA to remain warm, the latter being a long-standing ally in various aspects, such as in our fight against acts of terror that are being committed by evil forces,” he added.
Just like his relations with other state leaders, President Duterte is expected to have friendly ties with the new US President, according to Panelo.
“PRRD has been widely respected by state leaders, including President Donald Trump, as he manifests the same respect to — and has gained deep and genuine friendship with them. We thus do not see any reason why we will not witness another friendly relationship materialize between PRRD and America’s President Biden POTUS,” he said.
Panelo declined to comment on the possible impact of the Biden presidency on matters related to the country’s visiting forces agreement and the war on drugs. He brushed aside the local commentaries on these issues, saying they were based on “conjectures or surmises.” “We do not wish to join these commentators in such futile practice,” he added.
“For now, we wish US President-elect Biden all the best as he is about to attempt in leading his nation amid this pandemic and beyond,” he said.