Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said he believes the Philippines stands to gain much from the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“I see a Biden presidency positive for the country and the rest of the Southeast Asian nations. I see a myriad of opportunities for the Philippines that has close historical, political, economic, cultural, and emotional ties with the US,” Drilon said in a statement.
The minority leader, however, said the Philippine government should have a more proactive approach in actively advancing the best interests of the country. “Among the Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines is in the best position to actively pursue its interests,” Drilon said.
But Drilon said he does not expect it to automatically happen since the US foreign policy under Biden will naturally be anchored on its national interests.
“That will determine US foreign policy vis-à-vis the Philippines, on issues such as the West Philippine Sea, extra-judicial killings, climate change, trade, among others,” he said.
Drilon said it is very important that the country is able to assert its unique advantages and its deeply rooted partnership and relationship with the US, more so now that there are Southeast Asian (SEA) nations like Vietnam, whose interest, particularly with regard to China, has shown to complement that of the US.
“President-elect Biden will be less constrained with regard to foreign policy,” Drilon said.
“Hence, the Biden presidency will likely move faster and will have more significant gains in his foreign policy initiatives, like improving US relationships with Southeast Asian nations, rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO), the Paris Climate Treaty, the anti-nuclear proliferation treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Iran Nuclear Deceleration Treaty, and a more aggressive implementation of the Magnitsky Act, etc.” he said.