Philippine President Duterte thanked US President Biden for donating COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte thanked United States President Joe Biden for donating COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
President Duterte, in a rare instance, was friendly to the United States and asked the global superpower not to forget the Philippines.
This came after the United States sent 6.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in total — 3.2 million Janssen COVID-19 vaccine doses and 3 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses — in a span of three weeks.
More COVID-19 vaccine doses were expected to come as the United States was also poised to distribute its surplus of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“I would like to thank the president of the United States, (Joseph) Biden, the government, and the people of America for not forgetting us. Do not forget us because we share, we share the same outlook sa geopolitics dito especially sa Southeast Asia,” Duterte said in his weekly public address on Monday night.
This was an unusual statement from President Duterte who was vocal of his admiration of China and had once cursed former United States President Barack Obama.
President Duterte’s mention of the geopolitics in Southeast Asia was also a departure from his statements, saying the maritime issues with China were best dealt with bilaterally.
During his weekly address to the nation, President Duterte admitted that the termination of the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was a “give-and-take” strategy.
“Pasalamat tayo sa kanila at may naibigay naman ako sa kanila na concession. I consider the continuance of the Visiting Forces Agreement,” President Duterte said.