Joe Biden takes presidential oath, says ‘Democracy has prevailed’

Marje Pelayo   •   January 21, 2021   •   600

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. simply known as Joe Biden took his oath of office as the 46th president of the United States of America (USA) on a sunny day on Wednesday (January 20) at the Capitol Building in a ceremony that broke tradition.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden discouraged his supporters from attending the ceremony and opted to be with the company of thousands of National Guards to keep the peace and order following an assault on the Capitol Building on January 6.

For the first time since John Quincy in 1869, the outgoing commander-in-chief Donald Trump snubbed the ceremony as he still refused to accept his election defeat.

After Trump’s tumultuous four years, Biden implied that finally, democracy has been restored in the US.

“America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge.” he said.

“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” he added.

Biden did not mention his predecessor but referred to the incident at the Capitol perpetrated by Trump supporters two weeks ago. Biden said he will not let any attempt “to stop the work of our democracy” to triumph.

Moving forward, the new US president called for unity among Americans in facing the challenges ahead, especially the impact of the current pandemic which he called “dark winter”.

“In the work ahead of us, we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter,” Biden said.

“We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” he added.

Biden promised to be a president for all Americans saying “every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.”

“To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength,” he said addressing his critics.

“Yet hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans,” he vowed, calling for a stop on the war of colors referring to the conflicts between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Towards the end of his speech, President Biden called on US citizens to be more open and keep the value of humility as a new administration begins under his command.

“We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility… because here’s this thing about life: There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you,” he said.

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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