NEW YORK, USA — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. commended the robust relationship between the Philippines and the United States but said it could still be “redefined” in many ways.
Marcos said this during his bilateral meeting with US President Joseph Biden here on Thursday morning, September 22 (New York time).
In his remarks, the President recognized that the over 100-year-old relationship between the two countries continues to evolve, but recent developments could prompt the redefinition of the Philippines’ and the US’s long-standing ties.
“The 100-plus-year-old relationship between the Philippines and the US continues to evolve as we face the challenges of this new century and the events that we have been watching over the past few months, really,” he said.
“So, we have very much to discuss in terms of redefining, I suppose, in many ways,” he added.
For his part, President Biden acknowledged that the Philippines and the US indeed had “rocky times,” but their relationship is still critical.
“The relationship between the United States and the Philippines, to state the obvious, has very deep roots,” he said.
“We’ve had some rocky times, but the fact is it’s a critical, critical relationship from our perspective,” he added.
In response, Marcos said that the Philippines and the US will always be partners.
“We are your partners, we are your allies, we are your friends. And, in like fashion, we have always considered the United States our partner, our ally, and our friend,” he said.
Still, President Marcos lauded the US for helping keep peace in the Southeast Asian region.
“The role of the United States in maintaining the peace in our region is something that is much appreciated by all the countries in the regions and the Philippines, especially,” he said.
“We continue to look to the United States for that continuing partnership and the maintenance of peace in our region,” he added.
Marcos said the Philippines is thankful for the strong foundation that it shares with the US.
“We feel that we are especially fortunate because we have a very strong foundation of a very long relationship and strong relationships on various facets not only political, not only diplomatic but also economic,” he said.
In terms of geopolitical issues, President Marcos said the primary consideration of the Philippines and the guiding principle of the Philippine foreign policy is to encourage peace.
“I hope that we will be able to discuss further the roles that our two countries will play together and individually as we continue down that road — maintaining peace despite all the complexities that have arisen in the past few months,” he said.
The President thanked Biden for their assistance to the Philippines during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the provision of almost 36 million doses of vaccines.
“For that, we are very, very grateful,” he said.