The United States on Friday greeted the Philippines on its 117th anniversary of independence from Spain as it reiterated its unwavering commitment to stand by its long-standing treaty ally.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement issued on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States, sent “best wishes to the people of the Republic of the Philippines.”
“Today is a celebration of voices,” Kerry said. “These are the voices of those who died standing shoulder to shoulder with US troops in World War II protecting our global freedom, the voices of victims of Typhoon Yolanda, the voices of the thousands of dedicated, hardworking, and resilient Filipinos living overseas, and the voices of our youth.”
“These united voices, alongside our own, have created a proud history and an enduring alliance with the Philippines,” he said, adding the Philippines holds a “special place in my life,” having witnessed firsthand as a young senator “the strength of the Philippines’ democracy and the power of a single voice.”
Kerry also heaped praises on the efforts of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in the fight against climate change, in raising awareness of the need for disaster preparation and as host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation this year, where President Obama and leaders from Japan, China, Australia, among others, will tackle economic issues at a summit.
The US also recognized the Philippines’ fight against violent extremism and efforts to strengthen further the two long-standing treaty allies’ economic ties.
“Our shared democratic values, growing trade and investment, and strong people-to-people ties will continue to unite our countries,” Kerry said.
America’s friendship, he added, “continues due to our shared goals of spreading democracy and democratic values.”
“As you celebrate across the archipelago, the United States stands with you as an unwavering ally, partner and friend. May the Philippines continue to teach the world lessons in resilience, accountability and democracy.”