ONLY hours after US President-elect Donald Trump spoke with President Rodrigo Duterte and not even 48 hours after his arrival, the new US Ambassador Sung Kim already had a Saturday full of meetings but still had time to watch the basketball championship between Ateneo and La Salle.
“I just arrived in Manila 48 hours ago and my timing was perfect,” Kim told youth leaders attending the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative gathering organized by the US Embassy in Manila.
He told the youth the 70-year relationship between the US and the Philippines is very important to the Washington and stressed that programs for the Filipino youths will continue but he declined to respond to more substantive questions because, he said, he has yet to present his credentials.
However, US Embassy counselor for public affairs Carolyn Glassman assured that there would be no change in US-Philippine ties despite perceived difficulties during the Obama administration.
Glassman reiterated that the American government’s foreign policy with the Philippines, particularly on education, trade, among others, will continue and will not change even as they await the inauguration of the Trump administration.
“In all honesty, especially in public diplomacy, whoever our President is, our programs will continue,” Glassman said, veering the conversation to basketball.
Despite or because of the jet lag, Glassman said Kim insisted on watching the game as an introduction to Filipino culture and was amazed at Filipinos’ basketball spirit.
“He enjoyed the game and how enthusiastic the crowds were,” Glassman said.