MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is set to visit two Southeast Asian countries in the first week of September, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said on Friday, August 19.
Marcos, who assumed office on June 30, will visit Indonesia from September 4 to 6 and Singapore from September 6 to 7. Both trips will be state visits, or an official visit of one head of state to another. The September sojourn would be a first by Marcos as president.
Angeles also confirmed that Marcos will go to the United States in an official capacity soon, although details of the visit have yet to be ironed out. “It’s still being worked out although nagsabi ang Pangulo (the President has said) that he will be going,” said Angeles.
Back in June when he was still president-elect, his team said Marcos was keen on attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York come September 2022. US President Joe Biden had earlier extended an invitation for Marcos to visit the US. The invite was delivered by US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who headed the US delegation during Philippine President’s oath-taking.
Angeles did not say why the Marcos administration chose Indonesia and Singapore as the President’s first state visits. The Philippines and the two countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Marcos’ predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte, made his first state visit in Indonesia in early September 2016.
Details about the two visits have yet to be released to media.
It is the US trip that will grab the most attention for the new president. Marcos has a standing contempt order in the US for violating a Hawaii court injunction on their assets. A Hawaiian judge wanted the Marcos assets preserved to pay damages to victims of human rights abuses during the martial law regime of his father and namesake, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.
As Philippine President, the younger Marcos enjoys diplomatic immunity. – Rappler.com