Reception Hall, Malacañan Palace
July 29, 2021

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte received United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III in a courtesy call at the Reception Hall in Malacañan Palace.

Secretary Austin is in the Philippines as part of his tour of Southeast Asia that includes Vietnam and Singapore. He is the first senior official of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Administration to visit the region.

In an official statement from Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, “Secretary Austin’s visit will demonstrate the importance the Biden-Harris Administration places on Southeast Asia and on ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as an essential part of the Indo-Pacific’s architecture. This trip will underscore the enduring U.S. commitment to the region, and our interest in upholding the rules-based international order in the region and promoting ASEAN centrality.”

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez, Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert E.A. Borje, and Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go (Vice Chairperson, Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation) joined President Duterte in the courtesy call.

* * *