The United States (US) government will send a presidential delegation led by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to the inauguration of Philippine President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on June 30, said the White House in a statement on Sunday (June 26).
The husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, Emhoff also engages in public roles on behalf of the administration. The ad-interim Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Manila, Heather Variava, will also attend as part of the delegation.
Other members of the delegation also include the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Nani A. Coloretti, former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ret. Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr., the US National Security Council’s Senior Director for East Asia and Oceania and a Special Assistant to the President Edgar D. Kagan, and the US Director of the Asian Development Bank Chantale Y. Wong.
President Joe Biden was one of the first foreign leaders to greet and speak with the president-elect when it was clear that he’s the frontrunner, and projected winner of the election. The US president said that he’s looking forward “to working with the president-elect to continue strengthening the US-Philippine Alliance, while expanding bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including the fight against COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, promoting broad-based economic growth, and respect for human rights.”
This is not the first time that high-ranking US officials will meet with President-elect Marcos Jr. On June 9, US Department of State’s Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman paid a visit to the president-elect at his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, where she said that despite several federal court’s contempt order against Marcos Jr., he will be allowed to enter the US through diplomatic immunity as a head of state.
“When you are head of state, you have immunity in all circumstances and are welcomed to the United States in your official role,” Sherman told reporters.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.
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