Do Not Read This: Diego Cagahastian from Opinyon
Do Not Read This

PBBM meets with envoys

Jun 13, 2022, 1:17 AM
Diego S. Cagahastian

Diego S. Cagahastian

Columnist

THIS week has been a busy one for President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. because aside from interviewing prospective members of his cabinet, he scheduled and fulfilled a series of meetings with ambassadors and representatives of international bodies.

These courtesy calls may take up a big part of Bongbong's day at his erstwhile campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, but they are important.

First, these meetings are a testimony on how the international community is reacting to the recent Philippine presidential elections, the results of which are still being maligned and doubted by the Kakampink cabal. Envoys from Europe, the United States, China, and Asia have been making calls on Marcos, each one wanting to hear him say that friendship and cooperation efforts will stay, if not strengthened.

European envoys were most visible in Mandaluyong the past days. Last Friday, June 10, the President-elect met with five ambassadors.

They were Ambassador Gustavo Gonzales, United Nations (UN) Representative to the Philippines; Ambassador Annika Thunborg of Sweden; Ambassador Charles Brown of the Holy See; Ambassador William Carlos of Ireland; and Ambassador Alain Gaschen of the Swiss Confederation.
The meetings took place from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Last Tuesday, ambassadors from Spain, Germany, and Morocco visited Marcos and on Thursday, the President-elect held a meeting with United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Of course, PBBM has had several meetings with Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian, the latest being at the celebration of the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day on June 9. It was also the 47th anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine-China diplomatic relations.

In their meetings, UN Ambassador Gustavo Gonzales and Ambassador Annika Thunborg of Sweden were both assured by Marcos that under his administration, the Philippines will respect human rights and adhere to international law, aside from pursuing an open friendship with all nations.

This is the same message that PBBM had with Wendy Sherman, who by now has relayed to US President Joe Biden that the new Philippine leader will pursue an even closer relations with the US, marked with a review of all economic and defense agreements with the United States, starting with the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

With regard to China, Marcos has reiterated that the nation will continue with President Duterte's independent foreign policy. Marcos assured that China will be the country's strongest partner in this part of the world, but will not give an inch when sovereignty over any Philippine land is at stake. This should be the underlying principle in what incoming National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos elucidates as "critical engagement" with China.

Just like his father, President Ferdinand Marcos, and his immediate predecessor, President Duterte, Marcos is very versed with world history and geopolitical issues, especially because he grew up with a father who was adept at international goings- on and himself proficient in diplomacy.


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