After US, UK trips, Marcos to leave again for ASEAN summit 

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. returned to the Philippines Sunday from his quick visit to the United Kingdom for the coronation of King Charles III and his five-day trip to the United States. 

The Philippine leaders arrival in Manila at 10:30 p.m. Sunday was confirmed by the presidential palace in a Viber message to reporters on Monday. 

[There were] no arrival honors,the Presidential Communications Office said. He was welcomed by the chief of protocol and air force officers. 

In a tweet a few hours after his arrival, Mr. Marcos Jr. congratulated King Charles III and Queen Camilla on their coronation in London on May 6, saying the event was grand and magnificent,” “full of symbolism,and weighted by history.”  

It was a great honor for me to represent the Philippines on such a historic occasion,” he said. 

“A day before the Coronation of King Charles III, we were able to speak with His Majesty at the reception, where we sent him the congratulations of all Filipinos,he added.He asked after his friend, my mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and recounted fond memories of the time they shared together. 

Weeks before leaving the Philippines, domestic civic groups urged the president to skip his attendance at the coronation ceremony, saying it does not serve any national interest. 

They cited the ballooningPhilippine debt, which hit a record high of P13.75 trillion at the end of February. 

There were no public details yet on whether the Philippine leader had secured investment pledges or economic partnerships during his UK trip. 

The First Lady, in an Instagram post on Sunday night, said they are scheduled to leave again this week for the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which will be held in Indonesia. 

Cant believe we have to unpack and then pack again for the upcoming ASEAN meet on Tuesday, May 9th. 

Mr. Marcos left Manila on April 30 for a five-day trip to Washington, where he had separate meetings with President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. 

He was joined by Philippine officials including House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual and Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla, among others. 

During the US trip, the Philippines had secured 1.3$ billion in investment pledges that Mr. Marcos said could create around 6,700 jobs for Filipinos.  

The Philippine leader, 65, is the son of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was toppled by a popular uprising in February 1986 after his government plundered public coffers and committed human rights violations, which have been documented by various domestic and international organizations. 

Mr. Biden, who was a US senator in 1986, was part of a committee that declared the 1986 snap elections in the Philippines fraudulent. 

Their meeting came amid increasing tension in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. 

Cleve V. Arguelles, president of research firm WR Numero, said the Philippine leaders political baggage would likely shape his foreign policy decisions. 

His willingness to be seen at the global stage could be part of restorationistagenda seeking to rebrand the image of his family, which had been humiliated and abandoned in the past by the international community especially the US which they thought were close allies of the Marcos Sr. administration,Mr. Arguelles said in a note.  

So, I think theyre just re-introducing themselves to the international scene. And this is why President Marcos Jr., as many observed, is willing to get up for these international activities which is more than the usual enthusiasm (or absence of it that) we see in performing his domestic duties.Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza