GMA News Online : Envoys pay courtesy visits on Bongbong Marcos

By ANNA FELICIA BAJO | GMA News Online

With the aim of strengthening bilateral relations with the Philippines, four diplomats paid courtesy call on President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday.

Those who paid courtesy calls include Singaporean Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Vèron, France Ambassador to the Philippines Michelle Boccoz, and British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils.

The Marcos camp said the diplomats promised "to strengthen the ties in trade and diplomacy, as well as their common interests in democracy, self-determination, and economic recovery."

Ho, for his part, mentioned that Singapore is one of the largest trading partners and foreign investors of the Philippines, noting that "Singaporean and Philippine leaders have worked together for the peace and prosperity of the region."

"We are hopeful that we can continue to grow this bilateral economic relationship with the Philippines and it will continue to flourish," Ho told reporters.

"We see a lot of growth potential in the Philippines and we hope to see more Singapore companies coming in to the Philippine markets," he added.

Philippines as she vowed to deepen the two countries' collaboration, especially in terms of economy, businesses, and trade.

"We were able to discuss areas of particular joint interest where we want to further work together and expand, and broaden and deepen our collaboration. For example, as you know, the President-elect is very focused on economy and boosting the economy after the pandemic, and we were able to discuss what the UK has been doing in that space, and what more we will do to support businesses, support trade, support investments, infrastructure in particular," Beaufils said.

"We spoke about energy, climate change, the UK's support in that space, in particular, on energy transition and also on adaptation," she added.

Beaufils said she also discussed the peace process in Mindanao, human rights, and even media freedom with Marcos.

Meanwhile, asked about the UK's role in dealing with the West Philippine Sea issue, Beaufils maintained that the UK would adhere to international maritime law.

"The UK is also a maritime nation, we're really focused on international law, international maritime law in particular and UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), so we've been working in particular very closely with the Philippines in the past and we will continue to do so to support maritime law through training, but also through joint exercises," she said.

Ambassadors from France and the EU were not able to face the media due to prior commitment.

Last week, diplomats Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul, India Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran, and US Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava also paid courtesy call on Marcos.—AOL, GMA News