MANILA – Malacañang is counting on US President-elect Joe Biden to stay true to his promise to prioritize offering legal status to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Biden announced his decision to immediately ask Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship to an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the United States without legal status.
“Ang mabuti sigurong mangyayari, ngayon pa lang inanunsyo na ni President-elect Biden na magpo-propose siya ng batas (One good thing we can expect, is that as early as now President-elect Biden proposed a law) to legalize the stay of 11 million illegal aliens in the United States at siyempre po may mga Pilipino na magbebenepisyo sa batas na ‘yan (and of course Filipinos will benefit from that law),” he said in a Palace press briefing on Monday.
Roque also expressed hope that bilateral relations between the Philippines and the US would stay strong.
“Pagdating po sa panlabas na relasyon, may continuity naman po ang Estados Unidos (When it comes to foreign relations, the US has continuity),” he said.
He, meanwhile, shrugged off remarks made by Ateneo de Manila political science professor Melay Abao that a Biden presidency would mean that Duterte had lost an ally.
“Wala po kaming comment diyan, walang basehan iyan. Ang mayroon po tayo ay mainit at malapit na relasyon sa bansang Estados Unidos (We don’t have a comment on that, that has no basis. We have warm and close ties with the United States),” he said.
Abao claimed Duterte has “lost an ally” since the Biden camp is not likely to compromise human rights issues.
The Washington Post, in an article published in November 2020, also said Biden’s victory presents “practical challenges” to policies that went unchecked during the presidency under his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Last year, Roque said Duterte would avoid making judgments about Biden until he finally gets to work with him.
Democrats like former US President Barack Obama have been critical of the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Biden served as Obama’s Vice President for two terms — 2009-2017.
He will be inaugurated as US President on Jan. 20.
Trump will skip Biden’s inauguration, but former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will be there to stand witness. (PNA)