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Outgoing US envoy confident with US-Philippines alliance

Pia Lee Brago - The Philippine Star
Outgoing US envoy confident with US-Philippines alliance
“I am confident that our security alliance and our cooperative partnership will continue to thrive in the years to come and that our countries will grow ever more secure and prosperous,” Outgoing US embassy Charge d’Affaires John Law said as he wrapped up his tour of duty after three years.
US Embassy / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing US embassy Charge d’Affaires John Law has expressed confidence that the security alliance and relations between the United States and the Philippines will continue to thrive.

“I am confident that our security alliance and our cooperative partnership will continue to thrive in the years to come and that our countries will grow ever more secure and prosperous,” Law said as he wrapped up his tour of duty after three years.

“My optimism is rooted in something far more profound and lasting than our shared political and economic interests; it springs from the hearts of our two peoples. We are more than allies: we are friends and family,” he said.

Law conveyed the US government’s appreciation to President Duterte for restoring the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

“We deeply appreciate President Duterte’s decision in July to restore the Visiting Forces Agreement, key to the operational effectiveness of our Mutual Defense Treaty – whose 70th anniversary we commemorate this year,” Law said.

“We believe our alliance strengthens both countries’ operational readiness, deters conflict and defends a peaceful, stable, rules-based order throughout the region,” he said, noting that the recent visits of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III and Adm. John Aquilino, Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, highlight the US’s unwavering commitment to its oldest treaty ally in the region, the Philippines.

Law said the cooperation has promoted the economic and environmental sustainability of the West Philippine Sea, whose resources are critical to Filipino livelihoods and to the nation’s prosperity.

He added that the US will continue to do all in its power to help the Philippines prevail in its fight against COVID-19, through donations of vaccines and medical equipment, as well as extending public health assistance.

To date, the US has donated over 13 million vaccine doses to the Philippines through COVAX.

“Millions more will come; the Philippines will receive 44 million vaccine doses from COVAX. I am heartened by each delivery of these life-saving vaccines, which are saving lives and bolstering confidence that together, we will overcome this terrible pandemic,” he said.

He also cited the over P1.38 billion in assistance, including ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment and training.

“My wife and I feel so very fortunate to have experienced that warmth and that friendship with so many Filipinos we have met throughout this beautiful country. Though we could stay only a few years, we are so happy we could call this land our home, if only for a while. These friendships and memories we will take with us and cherish always,” Law said.   

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