By Claire Morales True, Managing Editor
WASHINGTON D.C. — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may travel to the United States again, this time at the US capital Washington D.C. in June 2023 for a possible state visit.
This was disclosed by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez who said the visit would be timed around the Summit for Democracy which might be held in June 2023.
In a statement, Romualdez said the President has committed to attend the summit, so the state visit, which may include a trip to the White House to meet and hold talks with US President Joseph Biden Jr., could be done before that summit or after the summit.
“It is not a goal. It is our view that it is time for a Philippine President to come to Washington DC and, of course, the White House is also looking at it as such. The summit for democracy may be an opportunity for us to schedule it, but it is still up in the air of course,” Romualdez told visiting journalists.
“It will be good for our continuing relationship with the United States,” Romualdez said, adding that bolstering American investments to the country will be Marcos’ key priority.
If the US state visit pushes through, it will be the first for a Philippine leader in 19 years, he said.
Romualdez, a cousin of the President, noted that no Philippine President has visited Washington D.C. for around eight years, adding that the Marcos visit “is already due.”
The last Philippine leader in Washington was Benigno Aquino III, who went to the White House for an official visit in 2012.
But the last state visit of a Philippine leader took place in 2003 when then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was welcomed by then US President George W. Bush, Romualdez said.
Marcos’ predecessor Rodrigo Duterte did not visit the US following some US officials’ criticism of his drugs campaign that saw many alleged drug suspects killed.
Marcos and President Biden first met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City last September, a meeting hailed by many as warming up with the relationship of the Philippines and the US.
“I think that they are in for a very good working relationship, a renewed working relationship that I think would be on a different level now. It would be more on what we both need, things that this country needs from us and what we need from the United States,” he said.
The Philippine envoy said Marcos wants more economic activity between the two countries while maintaining a close security alliance.
Romualdez said Biden was also “very responsive” to Marcos’ invitation for the US leader to visit the Philippines.
“Many of his advisers in the White House have told me that he is really seriously looking at when he can go to Manila at some point in time,” Romualdez said.