WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. heads to the United States for the second time since assuming office, this time for an official visit which includes a meeting with US President Joe Biden.
Aside from a one-on-one with Biden on Monday, May 1, Marcos is expected to meet with key American leaders including Cabinet officials, legislators, and business leaders.
Bookmark this page for updates and analysis from Manila and Washington, DC.
Marcos says US access to Philippines bases not meant for ‘offensive action’
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Thursday, June 4, his agreement this year to grant the United States access to more military bases in his country was not intended for use for “offensive action” against any country.
Marcos told the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that allows access to bases in the Philippines was conceived to deal with the effects of climate change.
Activists arrested following protest at Marcos dinner – BAYAN USA
According to a post from US-based coalition Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN USA), four activists were arrested after they conducted “civil disobedience [demonstration] to confront Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his entourage of Cabinet secretaries and Filipino billionaires.”
The protest happened outside Fiola Mare, a swanky restaurant in Georgetown, Washington DC, on May 2 or Marcos’ third night in town.
“Their act of protest represents the righteous anger of the millions of Filipinos suffering under the anti-poor economic policies, political repression, and militarization brought on by the US-backed Marcos regime,” said BAYAN USA in a post.
Some activist groups, including BAYAN USA, have been holding demonstrations in front of the White House and at hotels where he is known to have events.
Defense ties ‘key pillar’ of Philippine-US relations – Marcos
Speaking to members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said “defense and security engagement remains the key pillar of Philippines-US bilateral relations,” according to a release from Malacañang.
Marcos then praised the US for willing to work “as an equal, sovereign partner.”
Marcos wants GSP back for Philippines
In a forum with the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a pitch to reinstate the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program so that Manila can export specific products to the US duty-free.
Marcos told a room of both American and Filipino business leaders: “We would like very much for the authorization to come about as this boosts trade, and to make US products that are made in the Philippines more competitive in the global market.”
The Philippines’ inclusion in the scheme expired – and was not renewed – in December 2020.