Malacañang on Thursday confirmed that United States (US) Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the country in President Barack Obama’s stead.
Obama cancelled his trip to the Philippines because of the partial US government shutdown.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that Obama called President Benigno Aquino 3rd to inform him of his change in plans and commit to traveling to both countries later in his term.
”Secretary Kerry will go in place of President Obama. President Obama personally called President Aquino to tell him, to explain to him why he could not make the visit,” he said.
”President Obama told President Aquino that he wants to come to the Philippines on a later date before the end of his term.
So, we do expect to welcome President Obama here some time before he steps down,” Lacierda added.
According to Lacierda, the Aquino government understood Obama’s decision to cancel upcoming visits to the country.
”We understand. We perfectly understand why he has to do this so, as we said earlier, we’re just looking forward to welcoming him at a later date. But, certainly, domestic, political events can sometimes get in the way of these things, President Aquino understands that very well,” he said.
Catherine S. Valente