Americas News

Vice President Kamala Harris: PHL-US relations ‘stronger than ever’

WASHINGTON D.C. – US Vice President Kamala Harris said the relations between the Philippines and the United States are “stronger than ever” as she met Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the US capital.

“Under your leadership, we have been able to continue to do the work that we have that is a priority around our mutual prosperity and security,” Harris told Marcos Jr. during their meeting at the Number One Observatory Circle in Washington D.C.

Harris first met Marcos in Manila during which she also flew to Palawan where she met fishermen.

Harris and  Marcos vowed to boost mutually beneficial partnerships between Manila and Washington on a wide range of areas, such as digital inclusion and clean energy economy.

President Marcos thanked Harris for “laying the groundwork” for his meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House last Monday.

“I think that has given us the very attractive opportunity to continue to strengthen that relationship between our two countries in the face, in the context of all of the difficulties and complexities, the rising tensions in our region and the world. And once again, we turn to our American partners, our only treaty partner in the world,” Marcos said.

“After all the different cycles as in any friendship… I was telling (US) Secretary (of State Antony) Blinken yesterday, like any friendship we go through many cycles… We’re very, very happy to be here, to get this opportunity to speak with you and to have spoken with your President,” he added.

Harris, for her part, lauded Marcos for his leadership and effort to give priority “around our mutual prosperity and security.”

“During my visit to the Philippines, we discussed many issues including the importance of clean energy economy. You and I share a passion for that… As well as issues that relate to food security and what we must do around digital inclusion,” said Harris, who was accompanied by US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff.

“And on the issue of security of course, the work that our countries are doing together as it relates to the South China Sea, as it relates to what we must do in terms of continuing to work together through our Coast Guards,” she added.

In November last year, Harris traveled to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, where she met with residents, civil society leaders, and Philippine Coast Guard officials.

“I was honored to go to Palawan. I went there after you and I met,” Harris told the President, in which he replied “I saw it, yes.”

Harris said she grabbed the opportunity to chat with some of the fishermen in Palawan. “(I) met with the fishers there and met with the Coast Guard which the US and the Philippines — our Coast Guards are working together in that region very closely,” Harris told the meeting with Marcos.

Joining President Marcos during the meeting were First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, Speaker Martin Romualdez, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, Mrs. Maria Lourdes Romualdez, and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos. (Claire Morales True/cmtpr1962@yahoo.com.ph)