By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed to work with the Catholic Church, the Vatican’s representative to Manila said Monday.
“We had a very productive, encouraging, and positive discussion and the President-elect assured me of his desire to collaborate, cooperate closely with the church and Holy See,” Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
Brown was among five other representatives from other countries who visited the incoming President at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City on June 10.
Earlier, Caritas Philippines National director, Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said they will work with the new administration on a program that will address the rights and dignity of the people and promote truth and honest governance.
The church is also praying for the administration of Marcos to be of true service based on justice and upholding the dignity of the people.
Marcos was elected as the 17th Philippine president, garnering over 31 million votes in the May 9 polls.
He will officially start his six-year term on June 30.
Marcos has been invited to attend a climate change conference which will be held in Egypt in November.
Ambassador Ahmed Shehabeldin Ibrahim of Egypt on Monday made the disclosure after paying a courtesy visit to Marcos at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
Ibrahim said he and Marcos discussed their views on the “prospects of developing the bilateral relations between Egypt and the Philippines” through many areas of cooperation.
Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov said on Monday that Marcos will maintain his “independent policy” over the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“As far as I understand, the President-elect would like to continue his independent policy and he will cooperate with the Russian Federation,” Pavlov told reporters after meeting with Marcos during his courtesy call.
Russia’s unprovoked attack in Ukraine had prompted sanctions from the international community, including Germany’s deferred approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, severely affecting the prices of oil globally.
During the campaign period, Marcos said it is not necessary to take a stand on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, he was worried for the Filipinos who are affected by the conflict.
Nonetheless, later in the campaign, Marcos urged Russia to respect Ukraine’s freedom despite the war between the two countries.
At a United Nations General Assembly, the Philippines voted to condemn Russia’s attack against Ukraine.
Also on Monday, Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said Israel plans to continue and enhance its defense cooperation with the Philippines.
“The Philippines and Israel have very good historical and close relations,” which the two countries are exploring how to deepen,” Fuss said in a press conference after meeting with Marcos.
“In general, we discussed creating bridges between Israel and the Philippines to get our relations close,” said Fluss.
However, defense pacts have yet to be discussed, Fluss said.
“We didn’t discuss any specific deals. It is not the time,” he said.
“It is much too early and we’re not at that level. But certainly, we discussed cooperation in many areas, including defense, Israel as a partner of the Philippines, which is facing some similar challenges, in terrorism as a threat to democracy,” he said.
“We are looking forward to continue and enhance this collaboration.”