Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has joined other world leaders in congratulating US President-elect Joe Biden on his victory in the 2020 US presidential elections, Malacañang said on Sunday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania put him over the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes he needed to win the presidency.

However, Biden has yet to be officially declared as the winner of the US polls, while his rival Donald Trump vowed to protest vote count.

“On behalf of the Filipino nation, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wishes to extend his warm congratulations to former Vice President Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden on his election as the new President of the United States of America,” he said in a statement.

He said Duterte was looking forward to working with the 46th President of the US.

“We look forward to working closely with the new administration of President-elect Biden anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law,” he added.

Roque expressed confidence that “long-standing” bilateral relations between the Philippines and US would continue under Biden’s term.

“The Philippines and the United States have long-standing bilateral relations and we are committed to further enhancing the relations with the United States under the Biden administration. Congratulations and we wish him all the best,” he said.

On Wednesday, Roque said he expects no major changes in bilateral relations between the Philippines and the US regardless of who wins the race for the White House.

“You see the (US) State Department ensures continuity as far as US foreign policy is concerned. So we don’t expect any major changes in bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines’ The Source.

He acknowledged the “personal relationship” between Duterte and former US President Donald Trump but noted that he could also establish rapport with Biden.

“Of course, there is an issue of personal relations but I think given time the President can establish equally warm personal relations with whoever wins this election even it’s not President Trump,” he said.

Biden was declared President-elect after four days of vote-counting following record turnout across the country.

Trump refused to concede and threatened unspecified legal challenges regarding the vote counting process.

Biden’s vice president, Kamala Harris also made history becoming the first woman, first Black American and first Asian-American to win the second highest US office. PNA

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