President Rodrigo Duterte has extended his congratulations to the new top leaders of the United States—President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris—after the two were sworn into office.

“Our President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, sends his warmest greetings and the best wishes to the 46th President of the United States, Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden and to his Vice President Kamala Harris,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday.

Biden was installed as the 46th president of the US on Jan. 20.

The Philippines “looks forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with the United States in working together for a freer, more peaceful world,” Roque said.

“We are confident that President Biden will wear his new mantle of leadership with pride and with due regard for the hopes and aspirations of the rest of the world,” he added.

Duterte’s spokesman said he did not know if Duterte would call Biden to personally greet him.

Duterte has a standing threat to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) unless the US provides the Philippines with vaccines.

The VFA allows American soldiers to participate in military exercises in the country.

The Philippines was set to revoke the VFA in February but Duterte suspended its abrogation in June.

Asked earlier if the administration’s deadly war on drugs would cause bilateral relations to collapse, Roque said: “Wala po kaming comment, diyan, walang basehan iyan. Ang mayroon po tayo ay mainit at malapit na relasyon sa bansang Estados Unidos.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro