May 2, 2023
MANILA — The Philippines is looking to the US as its “sole treaty partner” in strengthening and redefining ties amid the tensions in the South China Sea and the Asia Pacific, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Monday (early morning Tuesday Philippine time) said.
In his opening statement before his bilateral meeting with Biden, Marcos said it would only be natural for the Philippines to look to the US in redefining ties, saying the Southeast Asian country was “possibly and arguably” in the most complicated geopolitical issue across the globe.
He also stressed the need to find ways to strengthen alliances “in the face of the new economy post-pandemic.”
“Beyond that, there are also issues, geopolitical issues that make the region… the Philippines is, possibly, arguably the most complicated geopolitical situation in the world right now,” Marcos said.
“So it is only natural for the Philippines to look to its sole treaty partner in the world, to strengthen and to redefine the relationship that we have and the roles that we play in the face of these [rising?] tensions that we see now around the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific region,” he added.
Marcos earlier said he would discuss with Biden the decades-old Mutual Defense Treaty, which he said would need to evolve to be responsive to the changing times.
He thanked Biden for the opportunity to have a meeting with him to discuss “these terribly important issues.”
“We have many things that are new that need to be assessed and again our role as partners in the world — in our worldview of what we are hoping for the future of peace, not only in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific region but in the whole world,” Marcos said.