Duterte congratulates Joe Biden as PH gov’t vows to ‘work closely’ with new US admin

By Alyssa Rola, CNN Philippines

The Philippine government has vowed to further boost its ties with the United States under the incoming term of President-elect Joe Biden.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday congratulated Biden for getting elected as the 46th chief executive of the US. Duterte said his administration looks forward to “working closely” with its soon-to-be counterpart.

“The Philippines and the United States have long-standing bilateral relations and we are committed to further enhancing the relations with the United States under the Biden administration,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement, following the announcement of Biden’s projected victory.

“We look forward to working closely with the new administration of President-elect Biden anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law,” he added.

Democratic bet Biden clinched the necessary 270 electoral votes, CNN projected on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), to win the race to the White House and boot out his Republican rival and incumbent US President Donald Trump. The official declaration, however, has yet to be made.

The 77-year-old Biden, in his victory address, pledged to unite, heal, and strengthen the US regardless of political parties and beliefs among its citizens.

The Trump campaign, on the other hand, earlier said it would demand a recount of votes in the state of Wisconsin.

‘Shared ideals’

Vice President Leni Robredo also congratulated Biden and his running mate, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, on their victory in the polls.

Robredo, in a tweet, said the Democrat duo’s victory is an “affirmation of the shared ideals on which the long friendship between our two nations stand: democracy, civil rights, faith, and inclusivity.”

“I pray for your success,” Robredo added.

A number of senators including Risa Hontiveros, Kiko Pangilinan, and Migz Zubiri also congratulated Biden and Harris for the feat.

Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate panel on women, children, and gender equality, lauded Harris for her “barrier-breaking” win as the first woman, first black person, and the first South Asian to be elected as US vice president.

PH business leaders ‘hopeful’

A group of Filipino business leaders also welcomed Biden’s victory, expressing hope that the new Democrat leader would be able to govern America “with steady hands” especially amid challenging times.

Malacañang earlier said that the Philippines is not expecting major changes in the bilateral relations with the US soon, as Duterte is seen to foster warm times with whoever wins the presidency.

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