United States (US) President Joseph Biden has an “open invitation” for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to visit the White House, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said.
Romualdez confirmed in an interview that in a letter written by Biden to Marcos, the former has extended an invitation for Marcos and his family to “come to Washington.”
The Ambassador said the invitation was relayed by Biden through US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Biden’s special envoy, during Marcos’ inauguration as the 17th Philippine President on June 30.
“He (Emhoff) carried a personal letter written by President Biden to President Marcos. In that letter, he congratulated the President and at least he hopes to speak to him again by phone sometime soon but also invited him to come to Washington,” Romualdez said in an interview on One News.
“So, it’s really an open invitation for President Marcos to come to the White House,” he added.
Romualdez, who was tapped by Marcos to remain as the Philippine Ambassador to the US under his term, said the President wants to check domestic issues first before embarking a trip to the US.
“Of course, I asked him how soon would you like to go because I’d like to see you there as soon as possible. He said that let me just look at the domestic problems first and see the things before we start taking up traveling,” Romualdez said.
The Filipino diplomat also said that “there will be no problem” if Marcos visits the US, citing his “full diplomatic immunity” which the US also assured shortly after Marcos won the elections.
“A head of state has full diplomatic immunity. There will be no problem whatsoever,” Romualdez said.
He also revealed that Marcos is also looking into visiting other ASEAN countries, “which is also part of our diplomatic efforts to introduce him formally to many of these important allies” but visiting the US is “very much in the radar.”
“[T]he United States is very much in the radar and the United States is very eager to have President Marcos come to the United States,” he said.
During the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in the Philippines last month, she addressed the issue saying that despite the contempt order against Marcos, which prevented him from traveling to the foreign country for years, the President has “immunity in all circumstances” and is welcome to the United States in his official role.