Americas News

US senators to Marcos on sea row with China: ‘We will stand by you and with you’

 

By Claire Morales True

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earned the support of the US Congressional Delegation (CODEL) over the aggressive actions of China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“We share your concern about China’s aggression with regard to many of the issues around the Philippines. We stand with you and we want to continue to stand by you, and with you, and to push that aggression back appropriately,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told President Marcos during the US delegation’s courtesy call in Malacañang.

Gillibrand also assured President Marcos of the delegations’ support to the Philippines, which she considered as an ally and a friend to the US as she expressed concern over China’s aggression in the WPS despite international ruling, favoring the Philippines.

Senator Gillibrand, who led the CODEL delegation, paid a courtesy visit on President Marcos at the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday afternoon as part of their two-day visit to the Philippines from March 25 to 26.

The US congressional delegation was accompanied by US Ambassador to Manila MaryKay Carlson and other US officials.

The Senator was joined by Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Roger Marshall, Mark Kelly, Cynthia Lummins, Michael Bennet and Representative Adriano Espaillat, who is a member of the House Committees on Appropriations and Budget.

In welcoming the delegation, President Marcos thanked them for visiting the Philippines in the midst of political issues in the US. He also expressed gladness for their presence in the country.

“But I’m happy, very happy to welcome all of you to the Philippines, and I hope that the time that you will spend here can be a productive time where we are able to discuss further the situation concerning the Philippines and the geopolitical complications that we are facing presently,” he said.

Senator Gillibrand also expressed his gratitude to President Marcos for welcoming them at the Malacañan Palace as she emphasized that they are delighted to be in “a beautiful country” filled with optimism and hope for the future.

She also noted the Filipinos’ contribution to the US. “We are so grateful for our years of friendship. We’re grateful for the steadfast partnership we had economically. We’re grateful to have you as an ally. Each of those roles is essential for the United States and we hope to continue to play those roles,” she said. “We have such a strong friendship with the Philippines because we have four million Filipinos in the United States. And we consider them our brothers and sisters, and our neighbors. And so, we’re very grateful for all the contributions that the Filipino community has made in the United States,” she added.

She also emphasized that the Filipino people have been at the forefront of healthcare, technology, and are serving America’s armed services. She added that the Philippines and the US are at the moment of extraordinary opportunity especially in terms of economic ties, in the fields of energy, minerals and commerce, among others.

“These are important alliances for us and we want to continue to grow on that. We want to build on the trip that Secretary Raimondo just had here with a number of executives from our companies. So, we’re grateful for that,” she quipped. (Claire Morales True)

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