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Speaker confident Philippines, US ties to remain strong

Shiela Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Speaker confident Philippines, US ties to remain strong
Speaker Martin Romualdez made the statement after meeting with the five-member US Congress delegation led by Sen. Edward John Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) on Thursday night.
STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Martin Romualdez has expressed confidence that the Philippines and the United States’ close and friendly ties will remain strong under the administration of President Marcos.

Romualdez made the statement after meeting with the five-member US Congress delegation led by Sen. Edward John Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) on Thursday night.

The delegation is in the Philippines for the US-Philippines Congressional Delegation Friendship Caucus held at the Manila Golf and Country Club. They earlier paid a courtesy call on the President.

“We extend our deep appreciation to your delegation for giving us this opportunity to fortify our engagements with the US Congress on matters beneficial to the Philippines and the United States,” he said.

Romualdez, who represents the first district of Leyte, also expressed his deep gratitude to the US for being one of the first responder-countries in the aftermath of the immense devastation and loss of lives caused by super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Eastern Visayas in November 2013.

“Indeed your presence here means a lot to us. It is an opportunity for us to further deepen and strengthen our ties of friendship and manifest our deep appreciation for the strong support and for all the assistance during our crises after Typhoon Haiyan in my district,” he noted.

According to the lawmaker, their “relationship is getting stronger despite all the crises that we faced in the international arena.”

“I know this relationship will endure and help us here stay the course, moving forward peace, prosperity and progress, not just in the Philippines, but in the region and of course with our partner, the United States,” he added.

Maritime cooperation

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the US Pacific Fleet and the Australian Defense Force have vowed to continue working together in the area of maritime domain awareness.

Officials of all three military forces met separately on Thursday to affirm their commitment toward promoting cooperation on maritime concerns and issues.

AFP chief Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro first met with the commander of the United States Pacific Fleet, Admiral Samuel Paparo, in Camp Aguinaldo.

The ranking US military officials’ visit follows the recently concluded Pacific Partnership 2022 and the Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii.

AFP public affairs office chief Col. Jorry Baclor said both military leaders affirmed their desire for greater cooperation, especially in establishing real-time information sharing and collaboration in maritime domain awareness.

He added that Bacarro and Paparo also anticipate the successful conduct of marquee activities, including Exercise Sama-Sama between the Philippine Fleet and the US Navy in October, Exercise Kamandag between the Philippine and US Marine Corps in October and Balikatan exercises next year. –  Michael Punongbayan

ROMUALDEZ

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