The United States reaffirmed its longstanding alliance with the Philippines and assured Manila it will continue to partner with the country as it sent well wishes for its celebration of the 125th Independence Day on Monday.
The US, through Secretary of State Antony Blinken, congratulated Filipinos in celebrating Independence Day on June 12.
In a statement, the top American diplomat reiterated his country’s intention to keep working with the Philippines to confront challenges together.
“We have accomplished much together, and I am confident we will continue to collaboratively confront the most pressing regional and global challenges,” Blinken said.
He also stressed that the US cherishes its longstanding alliance with the Philippines.
“Today, I want to reaffirm the longstanding US-Philippines Alliance and celebrate our strong people-to-people ties, acknowledging the shared sacrifices that form the foundation of our Alliance,” Blinken said.
“The United States cherishes the partnerships we have developed across so many fields, including fostering inclusive and broad-based prosperity, investing in the clean energy transition, upholding international peace and stability, and so much more,” he added.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has urged Filipinos to cherish the qualities exemplified by Filipino ancestors to achieve Philippine independence.
“As we celebrate Kalayaan 2023, let us look to the future while cherishing the exceptional qualities that our ancestors exemplified and that continue to define the Filipino spirit today – courage, resilience, compassion, and a deep love of country,” the country’s top diplomat said.
Manalo said the Department of Foreign Affairs pays tribute to the country’s “rich and proud history” by drawing wisdom from its lessons which guide the department’s steadfast commitment to an independent foreign policy that navigates the complexities of time.
He also said that the theme of “Kalayaan 2023: Kalayaan. Kinabukasan. Kasaysayan” is magnified by the intertwining of the DFA’s history with that of the Republic.
“As one of the first agencies established just eleven days after the declaration of Philippine Independence, our work has remained constant and unwavering,” he said.
The Foreign Affairs chief said: “Kalayaan (Freedom) is a core tenet of the agency’s mission, embodying the essence of an independent foreign policy and our unwavering commitment to advancing freedom, not only within our country but also in the international community.”
Kinabukasan (Future), he said, symbolizes DFA’s dedication to building a prosperous, peaceful, and equitable future for every Filipino.
“As the Philippines stands on the cusp of attaining middle power status and becoming the world’s 16th largest economy by 2040, our international engagements and partnerships play a vital role in realizing these ambitions while ensuring concrete benefits for our people,” Manalo said.
Kasaysayan (History), he said, beckons them to look back to a time 125 years ago when the country’s foremost diplomatic objective was to attain international recognition for the Philippines as the first Asian republic.
“From that pivotal moment, the Republic of the Philippines has steadfastly upheld the principles of decolonization, human rights, and equality. These fundamental principles have shaped our legacy – as a champion of the rules-based order and multilateralism, a leading voice in promoting safe and orderly migration, and a vigorous proponent of climate action,” he said.
The DFA chief also stressed that under the Marcos administration, the objective is to not merely restore pre-pandemic circumstances, “but to forge ahead and make our nation better prepared to confront the challenges and demands of the 21st century.”
He said beyond the pandemic, the DFA seeks to elevate the vibrancy of the Philippines to unprecedented heights. — Rey E. Requejo
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