Malacañang looks forward to working with Trump

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2017 04:45 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2017 08:19 PM

Malacañang on Saturday said it looks forward to working with US President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated in Washington, D.C., Friday.

“We look forward to working closely with the new administration of President Trump anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a text message.

Trump, in his inaugural address, said he will pursue "America First" policies, a message which Abella said Malacañang respects, noting the similarity in the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"In like manner national interest is the primary consideration that guides President Rodrigo Duterte. His pursuit of peace and order is the bedrock of economic inclusivity and self-sufficiency," Abella said.

However, Abella noted that there is an "indispensable need" to strengthen relations with other countries.

"Still, we recognize the indispensable need to strengthen relations with allied nations as our progress, prosperity and national well-being rely on such harmonious partnerships. The community of nations prosper as each one seeks its common good, and when it comes together to support the well-being of our common humanity," Abella said.

Trump's foreign policy is also welcomed by the Philippines, Abella said, noting that the Philippines will still expand its relations with other countries besides the US.

"We find resonance with their intention to seek friendship and goodwill and reinforce existing alliances, without imposing America's way of life on others," Abella said.

"While there is a promise of spring US-ward, as an independent and sovereign nation we will expand our collaboration with other friends and partners in the international community, in accordance with the principles of international law. Our priority remains to be the common good of the Filino people and the national interest," he added.

After winning the US presidential elections last year, Duterte congratulated Trump in a phone call and revealed later on that he wanted the Republican nominee to win.

The two leaders have drawn parallels with their remarks and controversial campaign pronouncements.

Abella also congratulated Americans for the success of the inauguration and wished Trump success for his 4-year term.

“We congratulate the people of the United States for a successful 58th presidential inauguration,” he said.

“We wish President Trump success in the next four years of his administration,” he added.

Trump was sworn in as the 45th US President Friday, succeeding Barack Obama.