President BBM Debuts on U.S. Stage, Seeking Stronger Ties With Washington

PHOTO BY Tresemme

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he hoped to meet his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, as he signaled strengthening ties between Manila and its longest-standing ally, Washington.

Marcos told a gathering of Filipino-Americans in New Jersey Sunday (Monday in Manila) that he would work to make the Philippines-U.S. alliance "stronger". His predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, had worked to pivot Manila away from Washington and towards Moscow and Beijing.

Last May, Marcos said he would talk to China with a "fim and consistent voice" when it comes to its moves in disputed waters, for which the U.S. has expressed concern.

"I will share our views on a number of global concerns and the role the Philippines will play as a responsible member of the family of nations in addressing these concerns," said the son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who traveled to the U.S. despite a 2011 contempt ruling by a Hawaii court that stemmed from his father's abuses.

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"I am hoping to be able to meet President Joseph Biden and other world leaders on the sides of the UN General Assembly," Marcos said, referring to the UN's highest body that he will address for the first time.

Marcos said he would also meet with potential investors while in the U.S., the third country he visited since winning by a landslide in the May elections. State visits to Indonesia and Singapore earlier in September yielded P804 billion in trade and investment pledges.

"Kapag may bagong negosyo, may trabaho. At iyon ngayon ang ating hinahanap dahil talagang maraming nahirapan," he said.

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