Biden becomes 46th US president after Pennsylvania win

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2020   •   1054

Former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic party has won Pennsylvania, surpassing the needed 270 electoral votes to take the White House and become the 46th president of the United States.

Biden on Saturday’s election results released the following statement as president-elect:

“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris. In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”

As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Biden also won Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan as he heads to the presidency, “flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.”

Trump needed the Pennsylvania win to stay in power. 

Biden’s win came after days of uncertainty as the processing of some ballots was delayed when election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes.

Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992, the AP said.

The 77-year-old Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and sought to contrast his working-class roots with the affluent Trump’s by casting the race as “Scranton versus Park Avenue.” —/mbmf

Biden extends condolences to the Filipino people on the passing ex-president Noynoy Aquino

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2021

United States (US) President Joe Biden extended his condolences to the Filipino people on the passing of former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III.

In a statement, Biden said Aquino was a valued friend and partner to the United States. He added that Aquino  served the Philippines with integrity and selfless dedication.

“President Aquino’s steadfast commitment to advancing peace, upholding the rule of law, and driving economic growth for all Filipinos, while taking bold steps to promote the rules-based international order, leaves a remarkable legacy at home and abroad that will endure for years to come,” he said.

The US President also extended his heartfelt sympathies toAquino’s family and to all who will mourn his absence. AAC

Biden administration releases gun crime prevention strategy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 24, 2021

United States (US) President Joe Biden announced a gun crime prevention strategy to ensure public safety and to address the surge of gun crimes in the country.

During his speech, Biden lamented the increase of gun crimes in the US especially during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. He reiterated the need to establish an assault weapons ban. There would also be local programs that would talk to people in the community.

“We support the need for community violence intervention. These are local programs that will utilize trust in messages. Community members and leaders will work directly with people who are most like to commit gun crimes or become victims of gun crimes” he said.

Biden also encouraged the various states to deploy additional police authorities in their area. He also warned against individuals who supply illegal firearms.

“If you willfully sell a gun to someone is prohibited from possessing it, if you willfully fail to run a background check, if you willfully falsify record, if you willfully fail to cooperate with the request for inspections.. my message you as this will find you and we will seek your license to sell guns will make sure you can sell death and Mayhem on our street,” he said.

The President continues to call on Congress to take action to end the gun violence epidemic. AAC (with reports from Justin Masakayan)

US Pres. Biden wants to meet with PH’s Duterte to affirm bilateral ties — envoy

Robie de Guzman   •   May 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — United States President Joe Biden is eyeing to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte to affirm the two countries’ bilateral ties, Manila’s Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez said on Monday.

In a Palace press briefing, Romualdez said Biden had sent a letter to Duterte to express his hope to meet him in the near future.

The US and the Philippines will celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties in July.

“Sumulat na nga si President Biden kay President Duterte and not only the occasion of the 75th anniversary but to inform him about the relationship between the Philippines and the United States will continue,” he said.

“He hopes that he will be able to meet in person with the president at some point in time,” he added.

There is no schedule yet for the meeting between Biden and Duterte.

Romualdez also said that Biden likewise expressed hope that Duterte will extend the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Manila and Washington as part of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

The VFA came into force in 1999. It outlines the guidelines about the treatment of their troops when visiting the US or the Philippines. It includes provisions on visa and passport policies for US troops and the American government’s right to retain jurisdiction over its personnel, among others.

Duterte last year order the abrogation of the VFA, which is anchored in the PH-US 1951 defense treaty.

The termination of the deal, however, was suspended citing the coronavirus pandemic and the relevant developments in the region.

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