US-PH ties still very strong, says exec
PALO, Leyte, Philippines — The relationship between the United States and the Philippines remains “very strong,” John Law, the US deputy chief of mission, said on Sunday.
Law attended the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landing, which led to the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation during World War II.
In a speech, Law said that 75 years ago, the alliance between the United States and the Philippines was “tested in war, forged in fire, and tempered with blood.”
“[And] that alliance endures and thrives today,” he said.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., reading a speech for President Duterte, said what happened 75 years ago in Leyte was not just a “military victory but a victory that solidified the bond between the Philippines and the United States, an ironclad friendship that endures up to this very day.”
He then paid tribute to the troops who sacrificed their lives for the country’s liberation.
“May their sacrifices inspire us to be more decisive in confronting the modern challenges that we now face as a nation,” he said.
These challenges, he said, include poverty, environmental degradation, criminality, corruption, illegal drugs and terrorism.
For the first time, a Russian official was around to attend the historic occasion spearheaded by the United States.
Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev expressed his “sincerest gratitude” for having been invited to the event held at the national park named after US Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Barangay Candahug, Palo town.
Under the Duterte administration, the Philippines has pursued enhanced relations with other world powers like Russia and China.
Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said it was the National Historical Commission of the Philippines that extended invitations to members of the diplomatic corps.
Petilla also said the Chinese Embassy was also invited to the occasion but no one came to represent China in the event.
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