US President Joe Biden has spoken with presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. after the late dictator's son swept the May 9 polls in a landslide, according to partial unofficial results, the White House said Thursday.
"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines to congratulate him on his election. President Biden underscored that he looks forward to working with the President-elect to continue strengthening the U.S.-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 right," a White House statement said.
Marcos spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said the Philippines' long-time relationship with the United States will be better but noted the country "will not be exclusive to anyone."
"The interest of the Filipino people and the national interest comes first and it will never be compromised especially our territorial integrity," he said in an ANC interview.
The United States said Wednesday it will seek close security ties with Marcos but made clear it would raise human rights.
Blinken congratulates Marcos, seeks to ‘strengthen’ US-Philippine ties
In a congratulatory message, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that "we look forward to working with President-elect Marcos to strengthen the enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines."
"As friends, partners and allies, we will continue to collaborate closely with the Philippines to promote respect for human rights and to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific region," Blinken said.
Marcos, son of late Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has claimed victory in the presidential election, vowing to be a leader "for all Filipinos", his spokesman said.
With an initial count almost complete, Marcos has secured over 56 percent of the vote and more than double the tally of his nearest rival, liberal Leni Robredo.
In his first press conference, Marcos said that 31 million Filipinos had "voted for unity," even as he waits for the vote counting to finish.
His win is an astonishing reversal in the fortunes of the Marcos family, who have gone from the presidential palace to pariahs and back again in the space of a few decades.
"To the world, he says: Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions," his spokesman said in a statement.
Voters had been predicted to back Marcos by a landslide in Monday's election, after relentless online whitewashing of the family's past, the backing of powerful political dynasties and public disenchantment with post-dictatorship governments.
For years, pro-Marcos accounts have flooded social media, leaving many young Filipinos believing his father's rule was a golden period of peace and
In reality, Marcos senior left the Philippines bankrupt and impoverished, and killed, tortured and jailed tens of thousands of opponents during his corrupt dictatorship.
Hours after his thumping victory, Marcos Jr visited his father's grave at the national heroes' cemetery in Manila.
Photos posted on official Marcos social media accounts on Wednesday showed him standing before the tomb with his head slightly bowed and covering his eyes with his right hand, as if crying.
Marcos vowed to "hit the ground running" when he takes office on June 30, with the economy, prices, jobs and education to be his government's priorities.
"I know that the counting is not over, it is not yet official, but I'm always guided and always look to the fact that 31 million of our countrymen voted for unity," Marcos told reporters at his campaign headquarters in Manila.
Marcos refused to take questions at the end of the press conference, which lasted less than five minutes.
He is waiting for all the votes to be counted before he declares victory, Rodriguez told reporters earlier. With Agence France-Presse