Envoy choice shows US wants better PH relations: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2016 04:47 PM

MANILA - The appointment of new United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim shows the efforts of America to be on a "better cultural footing" with the country, Malacañang said Saturday.

Korean-born Kim was sworn in by US Secretary of State John Kerry as the new envoy to Manila on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Kim's appointment is "very significant" because its shows that the US wants to relate with the Philippines on "better cultural terms."

"It's very significant po, that they chose an Asian. I'm sure it's some form of a signal na gusto nilang, they want to be on a better cultural footing at pagkakaintindi na between Asians," Abella said in an interview with DZRB.

(It's very significant that they chose an Asian. I'm sure it's some form of a signal that they want to be on a better cultural footing and understanding between Asians.)

He added that what is important is that "engagements" between the two countries become more "culturally sensitive."

"That seems to be right now one of the most obvious, one of the major significant reasons why they chose a Korean also. So ang gusto po siguro nilang mas maintindihan tayo, that we're able to relate on better cultural terms," he said.

(That seems to be right now one of the most obvious, one of the major significant reasons why they chose a Korean also. maybe, what they want is to understand us better, that we're able to relate on better cultural terms.)

Abella added that he is sure Kim is excited to stay in the Philippines since it is "one of the most exciting places right now."

In his speech after being sworn in, Kim said the US and the Philippines will continue to be close friends, partners and allies.

He also said he is excited to share his passion for basketball with the Filipino people.