MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay)– The United States government is looking forward to a “strong and productive” relationship with the next Philippine president who will be elected in the May polls, the US Embassy in Manila said Thursday.

In a media roundtable, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava expressed confidence that the two nations’ ties will remain strong based on their longstanding and wide-ranging cooperation.

She said the US government respects and supports the Philippine democratic process and look forward to working with whichever candidate is elected by the Filipino people.

“I think the bonds between our people are so strong and I think regardless of who is elected in May we look forward to having a strong and productive relationship with the new president, and we look forward to continuing that strong partnership and supporting the Philippine rights and sovereignty in the region,” she said.

Variava said there are multiple areas the two nations could further work on, including security, trade, development, and cultural and educational exchanges, among others.

“Last year, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty and we continue to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our bilateral diplomatic relationship, both of which are reminders of the strength of our longstanding commitment to one another as friends, partners, and allies,” she said.

Meanwhile, she noted Washington D.C.’s interest in participating in observation programs that the Commission on Elections may host for the upcoming national polls.

“We may indeed see observes from the United States joining as well. We don’t have details on that yet but we’ve gotten inquiries from some of the leading organizations about coming to observe and of course we are willing to work with Comelec to participate in whatever program is available,” she said. (MNS)

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