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Better PH-US ties seen with envoy

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The Philippines is bullish about having “better” relations with the United States following the appointment of a special envoy.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella has announced that President Duterte has reappointed Jose Manuel Romualdez as his special envoy to the United States.

“We are confident that the re-appointment of Mr. Romualdez will usher in better PH-US relations and promote stronger cooperation between the two countries,” Abella said.

Romualdez, a newspaper columnist, earlier declined the appointment as the envoy to Washington last year due a health condition. He has reportedly recovered and is now prepared to assume his government role.

The President has not yet appointed a Philippine ambassador to the United States following his tirade against the longtime ally’s supposed interference in local affairs.

At present, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. is supervised by Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto.

Duterte earlier lashed out at then US President Barack Obama for criticizing his drug-fighting methods and threatened to revoke a defense pact that allows American troops to visit the Philippines.

The situation somehow improved when the President welcomed the election of US President Donald Trump who has supported his anti-drug efforts. Duterte compared himself to Trump, praising him as a realistic and a pragmatic thinker.
The two leaders have talked over the phone and exchanged invitations to visit their respective countries.