Sat, 20 Aug 2022

MANILA - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has renewed his commitment to further boost the Philippines' relations with its allied countries, including China and the United States (US).

This was after he held separate meetings with foreign diplomats and dignitaries since assuming the presidency on Thursday.

In a Facebook post, Marcos said it was a "great pleasure" meeting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Australian Governor-General David Hurley, and United States Second Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff on the day of his inauguration.

"I look forward to deepening our already-vibrant relationships with each country and further exploring areas of mutual interest and benefit to our peoples," he said.

On Friday, Marcos also received Vietnamese Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Brunei Darussalam's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato Seri Setia Haji Erywan Bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd. Yusof, Cambodian Minister of Environment Say Samal, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, South Korea's People Power Party Floor Leader Kweon Seong-Dong, and the United Kingdom's Trade Envoy to the Philippines Richard Graham at Malacanan Palace.

State-run Radio Television Malacanang (RTVM) released on its official Facebook page snippets of videos of courtesy calls of foreign diplomats and dignitaries.

The Palace has yet to provide additional details about the meetings.

'Walk of closure'

Meanwhile, Marcos also met with former security officers who served under the term of his late father and namesake, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Marcos, the RTVM said, led the "walk of closure" rites for former security escort officers Capt. Mervyn Espadero, Lt. Col. Delmar Magno, 1st Lt. Menandro Espineli, and Lt. Col. Fe Castro.

Castro was the then-presidential nurse of Marcos Sr., while Magno was from the Office of the Senior Aide-de-Camp who served as the presidential nurse of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

Espineli, on the other hand, was the then-security officer of presidential sister, Irene Marcos-Araneta.

The former security officers rendered their final salute in a "solemn and meaningful" ceremony at the Malacanan Palace grounds, the RTVM said. (PNA)



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