PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has extended his greetings to United States President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris following their inauguration, Malacañang said Thursday, January 21.
“Our President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte sends his warmest greetings and the best wishes to the 46th President of the United States Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a briefing.
Biden on Wednesday, January 20 became the 46th U.S. president, while Harris was sworn in as the country’s first female, Black and South Asian American vice president.
The inauguration of Biden and Harris showed the world that the U.S. has “deep” roots in democracy, Roque affirmed.
“It has always been an exemplar to the world. And today, it has reassured the world that its people remain committed to peaceful electoral transitions and the noble principles of representative democracy,” he added.
Roque said he does not know if Duterte will be calling Biden directly to congratulate him for winning the presidency.
In 2016, Duterte congratulated former U.S. President Donald Trump through a phone conversation even before his inauguration.
Nevertheless, the Palace expressed hope that the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the U.S. will remain strong under Biden’s administration.
“We in the Philippines look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with the United States, in working together for a freer, more peaceful world,” said Roque.
The Philippines and the U.S. have one of the oldest military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region.
He added, “We’re confident that President Biden will wear his new mantle of leadership with pride, and with due regard for the hopes and aspirations of the rest of the world.”
Roque also stressed that the Philippines will focus on Duterte’s independent foreign policy, noting that the U.S. will do the same.
“The president is pursuing an independent foreign policy to protect the interests of the country and its citizenry,” he said.
“Same with Americans. They will also protect their national interests,” he added.