MANILA, May 12 (Mabuhay) — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday congratulated presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on his apparent victory in the May 9 elections.

Blinken said the State Department looks forward to strengthening the alliance between the US and the Philippines.

“On behalf of the United States, I congratulate President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on his election as the Philippines’ next president. We look forward to working with President-elect Marcos to strengthen the enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines,” he said in a press statement.

“Our special partnership is rooted in a long and deeply interwoven history, shared values and interests, and strong people-to-people ties,” he added.

He noted that Washington D.C. would likewise continue to cooperate with Manila “to promote respect for human rights and to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific region.”

Marcos is slated to win the presidency with over 31.1 million votes against Vice President Leni Robredo’s 14.8 million votes, based on the Commission of Elections’ partial and unofficial tally from the 98.35 election returns processed as of May 12.

The Congress, which is set to resume session by May 23, is tasked to canvass votes and declare the country’s president and vice president.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said the Senate and the House of Representatives target to begin canvassing on May 24 and proclaim the two new leaders by May 27 or May 28.

Once the winner has been proclaimed, transition formally begins and the incoming president is then called the president-elect.  (MNS)

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