THE relationship between the Philippines and the United States will stay the same under the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
In a Laging Handa public briefing on Friday, December 11, he maintained that the PH-U.S. ties would “generally be the same as always,” despite the possibility of “a few changes.”
However, Lorenzana said that he would have to wait for Biden to take office on Jan. 20, 2021 to know for sure “what his specific policies would be regarding their dealings with other countries, including the Philippines.”
In the past, several national government officials have insisted that the bilateral relations between the two countries will not see any change no matter who won the U.S. presidential election.
“We trust that with close ties between the Philippines and the U.S., we will continue and even see better relations under President (Rodrigo) Duterte and President-elect Biden,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in November.
Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez likewise echoed the sentiment.
“The alliance between our two countries remains very strong and it doesn’t matter who the president of either country is,” he said on Nov. 17, as previously reported by the Asian Journal,
“We feel that this relationship is so strong that it has withstood many wars and many conflicts in the past worldwide, and perhaps even some issues we may not agree on, but at the end of the day, because of our special relationship, it has endured,” he added.
Lorenzana also maintained that the defense articles that the Philippines received from the U.S. has nothing to do with U.S. President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House.
According to the defense chief, the military hardware “have long been programmed,” but only arrived this December.
The Philippines received $18 million worth of precision guided munitions and other weapons systems for use by the military when U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien visited the country on November 23.
The country also attained a ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System for the Philippine Navy, as well as P1.4 billion ($29.3 million) worth of defense articles, including sniper and anti-IED equipment, when U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett and Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller visited on separate occasions.