The United States said Wednesday it will seek close security ties with the Philippines under its next president, the son of the late Ferdinand Marcos, but made clear it would raise human rights.
In a congratulatory message, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “we look forward to working with President-elect Marcos to strengthen the enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines.”
“As friends, partners and allies, we will continue to collaborate closely with the Philippines to promote respect for human rights and to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific region,” Blinken said.
The top White House official on Asia, Kurt Campbell, acknowledged there “are some historical considerations” that initially may cause “some challenges in the communication.”
“But obviously (the) Philippines plays such a critical, important role and we will seek to continue close partnership in the security realm and increasing trade and economic ties,” Campbell said.
“Our expectation is we’ll be able to continue to work closely,” he said at the US Institute of Peace.
The younger Marcos, nicknamed “Bongbong,” will succeed President Rodrigo Duterte, who has waged a brutal war on drugs that rights groups say has killed tens of thousands.
Campbell, not mentioning human rights, said that “relations under President Duterte really rebounded towards the end, at least at the strategic level.” AFP