Duterte congratulates Biden, vows to boost US-PH ties

Image title

President Rodrigo Duterte and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. (PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS/WHITE HOUSE ARCHIVES)

President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden in his 2020 election win and promised to develop the Philippines’ ties with the United States under the incoming administration.

“On behalf of the Filipino nation, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wishes to extend his warm congratulations to former Vice President Joseph “Joe” Biden on his election as the new President of the United States of America,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement released Sunday.

After a neck-and-neck race since Nov. 3, Democratic bet Biden amassed more electoral college votes as compared to Republican incumbent Donald Trump. He was elected the 46th US president on Saturday after a few key swing states turned blue.

News organizations in the US reported that Biden had taken a lead in Pennsylvania, which put him over the magic number of 270 electoral college votes.

Roque said that the Philippines and the US have long-standing bilateral relations and are committed to further enhancing this under Biden’s term.

Duterte and Trump have expressed support for each others’ leadership styles, and the incumbent U.S. president had earlier praised the Philippine government’s controversial war against illegal drugs. In early February this year, the Philippine leader even said Trump deserved to be reelected.

But the Philippines’ ties with the US has seen better days, especially with the Duterte administration’s seeming pivot towards China.

“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,” Roque said.

California Senator Kamala Harris also made history as the first woman and the first person of color to be elected vice president.

Biden thanked citizens for their undying support and promised to restore political normalcy.

“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a president for all Americans—whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me,” Biden said in a statement on Twitter Sunday.