OUTGOING United States Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires John Law is confident that the security alliance and cooperation between the U.S. and the Philippines will only continue to thrive in the years to come.
“I am confident that our security alliance and our cooperative partnership will continue to thrive in the years to come, and that our countries will grow ever more secure and prosperous. My optimism is rooted in something far more profound and lasting than our shared political and economic interests; it springs from the hearts of our two peoples,” he wrote on Tuesday, September 7, in an op-ed posted on the U.S. Embassy in Manila website.
“We are more than allies: we are friends and family. The ties between Americans and Filipinos stretch back over a century, refreshed each day by the close bonds among millions of our countrymen,” he added.
Law also conveyed the U.S. government’s appreciation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’ decision to restore the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
“We deeply appreciate President Duterte’s decision in July to restore the Visiting Forces Agreement, key to the operational effectiveness of our Mutual Defense Treaty – whose 70th anniversary we commemorate this year,” he said.
He added, “We believe our alliance strengthens both countries’ operational readiness, deters conflict, and defends a peaceful, stable, rules-based order throughout the region. The recent visits by our Defense Secretary and the Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command highlight our unwavering commitment to our oldest treaty ally in the region.”–
Further, Law assured that the U.S. will continue to help the Philippines in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United States will continue to do all in our power to help the Philippines prevail in its fight against COVID-19, through vaccine donations, medical equipment, and public health assistance,” he said.
To date, the country has received over 13 million vaccine doses donated by the U.S. through the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility. It will also receive an additional 44 million vaccine doses from COVAX.
“I am heartened by each delivery of these life-saving vaccines, which are saving lives and bolstering confidence that together, we will overcome this terrible pandemic,” said Law.
“Our support goes beyond vaccines to include over P1.38n billion in assistance, including ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment, and training,” he said.
As he departed from his post, Law maintained that he was fortunate to experience the country’s warmth.
“My wife and I feel so very fortunate to have experienced that warmth and that friendship with so many Filipinos we have met throughout this beautiful country. Though we could stay only a few years, we are so happy we could call this land our home, if only for a while. These friendships and memories we will take with us, and cherish always,” he said.
“It has been an immense privilege to serve in the Philippines these past three years, and I leave deeply grateful to the Filipino people for their kindness and friendship,” he added.