US seeks 'close partnership' with Philippines' Marcos Jr despite 'challenges'

Mr Ferdinand Marcos Jr secured the majority of the 98 per cent of votes counted in an unofficial tally. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP, REUTERS) - The United States will seek close security ties with the Philippines under its next president, the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, but expects "challenges" due to historical baggage, a US official said on Wednesday (May 11).

"There are some historical considerations that probably make this - at least initially - there will be some challenges in communication," said Dr Kurt Campbell, the top White House official on Asia.

"But obviously the Philippines plays such a critical, important role and we will seek to continue close partnership in the security realm and increasing trade and economic ties," Dr Campbell said during an online event held by the US Institute of Peace ahead of President Joe Biden's summit with Southeast Asian leaders this week.

Mr Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Tuesday claimed victory in the Philippines presidential election, after securing majority of the 98 per cent votes counted in an unofficial tally by the poll body.

Mr Marcos Jr's relations with the US are complicated by a contempt of court order for his refusal to co-operate with the District Court of Hawaii, which in 1995 ordered the Marcos family to pay US$2 billion of plundered wealth to victims of Marcos Sr's rule.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.