Romualdez still PH ambassador to US under Bongbong Marcos administration
MANILA, Philippines — Dismissing rumors of possibly leading the Department of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez said Thursday he will carry on with his role as the Philippine Ambassador to the United States under the administration of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“[I] will remain in Washington,” he disclosed in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
Romualdez, a relative of the president-elect, said in a separate interview with CNN Philippines that he is “ready to do whatever it is” to help Marcos Jr. during his term as head of state.
“Anything I can do to help him succeed is what’s [more] important to me than positions, so I was very happy and pleased,” he added.
Romualdez is supposed to conclude his term as ambassador along with President Rodrigo Duterte, whose administration would end on June 30. But Romualdez said it would be a “privilege to serve again” in the same position.
Marcos Jr. as a ‘westernized’ leader
Asked about the changes Marcos Jr. can bring to the Philippines’ relationship with the US, Romualdez cited the president-elect’s familiarity with western politics.
“He has spent quite a bit of time in the United States. He’s quite westernized in that sense, so he knows what life is like in a country like the US which, obviously, our democratic system is patterned after. He knows the value of that friendship,” the ambassador said.
Romualdez also mentioned Marcos Jr.’s plans to not just resolve the issues in the Philippines’ international relations, but also to fortify economic ties with other states.
“He will reach out to countries like China, India, as he mentioned the other day, and of course, the United States, in bringing about the world’s economic recovery, which is obviously suffering from the pandemic,” he added.
Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was proclaimed as the 17th President of the Philippines on Wednesday evening after the Congress, sitting as National Board of Canvassers, concluded its counting of votes for president and vice president in the May 9 polls.
Marcos Jr.’s running mate and President Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, was also proclaimed winner in this year’s vice presidential election, making her the 15th Vice President of the country.