"We view transitions as opportunities to further relations. The U.S. and the Philippines are treaty allies and we are ready to work on bolstering this alliance on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect. We believe friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals of greater peace, progress and prosperity. We hope that the close ties between the Philippines and the U.S. will continue to be strengthened in pursuit of common objectives, mutual interest and shared commitment to world peace," said Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the Philippine Embassy, in his welcome remarks at a reception on January 19.

The reception marked the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump, a day before Mr. Trump would be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

More than 120 Filipino-American guests gathered from different parts of the U.S. to witness the historic event.

"The Filipino diaspora has a lot to account for the strong people-to-people ties that bind the Philippines and the U.S. It is in this context that Filipino-Americans continue to be an important bridge between our two countries. All of you have the resources, skills and expertise to help perpetuate the conditions for a sustainable, symbiotic, and mutually beneficial engagement between the Philippines and the United States," said Minister Chuasoto.

Philippine Secretary of Presidential Communications Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. attended the reception. Both officials are in the U.S. capital for the presidential inauguration. They expressed optimism about the future of Philippines-U.S. relations under the Duterte and Trump Administrations.

"Wala po tayong dapat ikabahala, magiging maayos po ang relasyon natin, ang Pilipinas at Amerika. We have this long history of good relations, the United States being the big brother of the Philippines and with more than 3.5 million Filipinos who live in the US," Secretary Andanar said.

"We join hands with the Americans in witnessing the assumption of office of President Donald Trump and we are honored by that. We look at the presidency as an opportunity for us to renew our ties, strengthen our ties with a long-term ally who has been supporting us since we got our independence up to now," added Secretary Esperon.

Mr. W. Patrick Murphy, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State agreed and emphasized the shared democratic values, close cooperation, and rich people-to-people ties between the two countries.

"In 2017 we look forward to working with the Philippines for many reasons but one of the most important is that the Philippines has assumed chairmanship of ASEAN and ASEAN is pivotal, it is our keystone to our engagement with the entire Asia Pacific," Deputy Assistant Secretary Murphy said.

Minister Chuasoto then led the group in a toast to the Filipino-American community, the American people and US Government, and the longstanding partnership and friendship between the Philippines and the United States. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs