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US Vice President Harris arrives in Manila on official visit

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US Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Manila on official visit

MANILA — (UPDATE) United States Vice President Kamala Harris arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Sunday night, beginning a 3-day official trip to the Philippines.

This is the first visit to the country by the first Asian-American vice president of the US.

Air Forzce Two, the vice president’s official plane, landed at 6:52 PM amid heavy security.

Harris flew into Manila from Bangkok, Thailand, where she attended the 29th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting.

She was accompanied by her husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who earlier came to the Philippines as part of the US delegation for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s inaugural.

After the arrival honors, Harris & Emhoff rode a convoy to their hotel.

Their run of activities begins Monday with meetings with VP Sara Duterte & Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

They were greeted by a military band playing arrival honors.

Harris’s welcoming party at the ramp included US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson and US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Heather Variava.

Present from the Philippine side were Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez, vice presidential spokesperson Reynold Munsayac, and chief of presidential protocol Adelio Cruz.

Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, Pasay Rep. Antonino Calixto, and Manila International Airport Authority assistant general manager Rafael Regular also greeted Harris.

VP Harris tells Asia the US is ‘here to stay’
After the arrival honors, Harris, Emhoff and their companions rode a convoy to their hotel.

On Monday, Harris is scheduled to meet her Philippine counterpart, Vice President Sara Duterte, followed by President Marcos in Malacañang Palace.

A senior US official earlier said Harris during the meeting would reaffirm the US’ defense commitment to the Philippines and commit to closely work to strengthen the 2 countries’ economic ties.

Harris to meet with Marcos, Duterte during PH visit
Also in her public itinerary are a town hall conversation with young Filipino women and a separate meeting with local civil society groups.

Harris will travel to Puerto Princesa, Palawan on Tuesday to meet residents, local leaders, and the Philippine Coast Guard

The US Embassy in Manila said Harris will be the first highest-ranking US official to visit the island province.

Past visits often centered on Metro Manila, historic World War II site Corregidor Island, and Subic, Zambales, where the US previously established a military base.

A US official’s briefing last week disclosed the Palawan visit would show President Joe Biden and Harris’s administration’s guarantee to the upholding rules-based maritime order in the disputed South China Sea.

VP Harris says US will ‘speak up’ on South China Sea
Despite Palawan’s vicinity to the Philippine-claimed Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea, President Marcos said Saturday that Harris’s visit would not cause any problems with China since the area was firmly in Philippine territory.

Marcos sees no problem with Kamala Harris’ trip near West PH Sea
Harris is the highest-ranking US official to visit Manila under the Marcos administration.

Former President Donald Trump was the last highest official to come to the Philippines in 2017.

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