The United States is now seeing the Philippines "in a different light" as the Pentagon gave President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. a military honor parade during his recent visit there, the Philippines' top diplomat in Washington said Monday.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez confirmed that Marcos was the first foreign president to be given full military honors by Washington under President Joe Biden's administration.
Romualdez said the ceremony on May 4 was "hair raising," especially when he saw the Philippine flag raised and the Philippine national anthem played at the Pentagon.
Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Office
"They've (not) had this type of military honors in over 10 years. This came from (Defense) Secretary (Lloyd) Austin himself," Romualdez said in an interview with ANC.
"In fact, even the people at the Pentagon, you know, the Pentagon has about close to 6000 people working there every day. Men have not seen this. And they came out of their offices just to watch this parade," he added.
Romualdez believed that the US gave Marcos such an honor because Washington is now seeing Manila "more than ever, as an ally."
"At some point," he added, Washington also admitted that they have been "neglecting" Manila.
"It's very clear with me that the United States looks at the Philippines now in a different light," he said, "This one was really a show, to all of us, all Filipinos, that the United States remains a strong ally of the Philippines."
"And they wanted to show that to our new president, as a way of telling all of us that we're there for you now," Romualdez added.