Malacañang on Saturday confirmed that United States President Donald Trump will visit the Philippines in November this year.
“We confirm US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Philippines this November,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
For his part, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Saturday, said Trump’s visit to the Philippines underscores the improving relations between the country and the US.
Abella said Trump’s visit “underscores the improving ties” between the US and the Philippines.
“President Duterte is looking forward to welcoming the US President in Manila,” he said.
According to Abella, Trump will join other world leaders who will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-East Asian Summit in the Philippines.
“As host country, we hope to make the event productive and pleasant to our foreign guests,” the Palace official said.
“We will let them experience our world-famous Filipino hospitality to make sure they would have good memories of their stay in the Philippines,” he added.
It would be Trump’s first trip to the Philippines as US President.
Tillerson confirms strong ties
Cayetano said no less than US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had told him that the relations between Manila and Washington is “on an upward vector.”
He said the Philippine government welcomed the White House announcement on Trump’s visit to Manila in November, saying this affirms the strong partnership between the two allies.
“President Trump will definitely receive a very warm welcome in Manila,” Cayetano said after the White House confirmed on Friday the Trump’s participation in the East Asian Summit.
“President [Rodrigo] Duterte is looking forward to welcoming President Trump in Manila. Our people are excited to see the first face-to-face meeting between our two leaders,” Cayetano said.
The White House said Trump’s visit to the Philippines will be part of a 12-day trip, from November 3 to November14, that will also take him to Japan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam.
The Department of Foreign Affairs chief also described the relations between the Philippines and the US as “strong and irreversible” in his interview by National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington on Thursday.
“The American-Filipino relationship is so resilient that it bounces back right always regardless of personalities and issues,” Cayetano told NPR anchor Mary Louise Kelly.
with BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO