Manalo meets with US congressional delegation

Published August 19, 2022, 7:39 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo met with a US Congressional delegation on Friday to discuss the bilateral relations of the US and the Philippines under the Marcos administration.

Manalo said he exchanged views with Senator Edward Markey, who is leading the delegation, regarding the “overall direction and future bilateral relations” of the two countries in the context of recent regional developments.

Photo courtesy of DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo

The visit came on the heels of the visit of another congressional member, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan that sparked a diplomatic tension between US and China.

In Taiwan prior to the Philippine visit, the delegation “reaffirmed the extraordinary role of [the Philippines] and the alliance in U.S. defense and security policy,” Manalo said a statement.

Bilateral relations between the US and the Philippines started in good standing in light of US President Joe Biden’s immediate invitation for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to come to the US as soon as he became the presumed winner of the recent presidential elections.

The US commitment to preserve good relationship with the Philippines was also reiterated by State Department Secretary Antony Blinken’s visit a month after, where he reaffirmed the Mutual Defense Treaty of the two countries.

“I underscored the importance of the bilateral partnership and the continuing diplomatic engagement with other regional actors, including ASEAN, in promoting the peace and prosperity of both countries and the region as a whole,” Manalo said.

Aside from Markey, the delegation was composed of Reps. John Raymond Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal, Don Beyer and Amata Radewagen. US Deputy Chief of Mission Heather Variava also joined.