Diplomats pay courtesy call to Bongbong

Even if he has yet to be officially proclaimed, at least four diplomats on Monday paid a courtesy call to president-in-waiting Bongbong Marcos and expressed their intention to boost their countries’ partnership with the Philippines under the incoming administration.,Marcos received Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, South Korea Ambassador Kim Inchul, Indian Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran, and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava at his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, more than one month ahead of his proclamation as the country’s 17th president.,In an interview with reporters, Kumaran said the Indian government intends to act jointly with the Philippines “towards capacity building and capability development” of the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).,“We believe that with the modernization program of the AFP, there are potential areas where Indian companies can be competitive,” he said.,It can be recalled that the DND signed the contract for the acquisition of an Indian-made BrahMos shore-based anti-ship missile system worth P18.9 billion in January this year as part of the AFP modernization program and a measure to improve the Philippine Navy’s capability to defend the country’s territory.,While India has its own territorial dispute with China, Kumaran said it was not discussed during his meeting with Marcos, as their dialogue centered on the “successes of India’s digital governance, health, agriculture, and its bilateral relationship” with the Philippines.,“We’ve been having excellent progress over the past few years. We look forward to continuing the progress and the dynamism under the new administration,” he said.,Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi penned a letter of congratulations to Marcos, which Kumaran delivered personally to the latter.,Only Kumaran consented to a media interview after meeting with Marcos. Others declined due to other engagements, according to Marcos’ camp.,Earlier, several world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, have congratulated Marcos for his apparent landslide victory in the recently concluded presidential elections.