US says to work with new Philippine gov't on key human rights, regional priorities

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2022 11:12 AM

Supporters of presidential candidate Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. cheer outside his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, May 9, 2022. Rolex Dela Pena, EPA-EFE 
Supporters of presidential candidate Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. cheer outside his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, May 9, 2022. Rolex Dela Pena, EPA-EFE 

MANILA — The United States is looking forward to working with President Rodrigo Duterte's successor on "key human rights and regional priorities," its state department said Wednesday, after partial tallies pointed to a landslide presidential election win for former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

The US is monitoring the election results and awaits the proclamation of the president-elect, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.

"We look forward to working with the president-elect, once that person is officially named, to strengthen the enduring alliance between the US and the Philippines," he told reporters.

The US hopes to collaborate with the next administration "to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific region," Price said.

"We’ll also continue, as I said before, to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law which is fundamental to US relations with the Philippines and other bilateral contacts as well," he added.

With over 98 percent of election results transmitted, Marcos has secured at least 31 million votes as of 7:32 a.m. Wednesday, more than double the 14.8 million tally of his closest rival Leni Robredo, based on partial and unofficial results aggregated from Commission on Elections data. 

The casting and counting of votes in Monday's elections were "conducted in line with international standards and without significant incident," Price said.

"Again, the counting is still underway, it is not for us to declare a winner. We’ll wait for the Philippine election authorities to do that," he said, when asked about concerns on a Marcos administration.

"We look forward to working with the president-elect on the shared values and shared interests that have united our countries across generations."

The United States is a longtime ally of the Philippines. 

Duterte, whose 6-year term ends in June, previously threatened to cancel military exercises and axe a key military deal with US as he pivoted towards China. But he has faced pushback from the public and concern in the military wary of Beijing's territorial ambitions in the West Philippine Sea.

— With reports from Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse 

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