Marcos back in PH from US visit

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrived in Manila on Monday evening after a six-day official visit to the United States.

The plane carrying the president and his delegation landed at the Villamor Airbase before 10 p.m.

Marcos participated in the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco, California, where he reaped investment commitments worth over $672 million.

"Altogether, we return to the Philippines with more or less $670 million in investment pledges that have the potential to directly and indirectly create thousands of jobs for Filipinos in the country," Marcos said in his arrival speech.

"We look forward to seeing more of these partnerships materialize in the months ahead, especially with the visit of high-level US presidential trade and investment mission in March next year," he added, referring to the business forum of around 100 top American companies to be held in the country.

The president also highlighted the signing of a "historic" civil nuclear cooperation deal, a 123 agreement, "which is seen to boost the country's energy security by laying the legal basis for the transfer of nuclear equipment and material from the US to Manila."

"We must commend both teams of the Philippines and the US. It is my understanding that this agreement was done in the fastest time a 123 agreement was signed," he said.

The Philippines will soon launch its first satellites dedicated to improve connectivity in far-flung areas of the country following a $400 million partnership with US-based tech company Astranis and Orbits, according to Marcos.

He said the first satellite will bear the official name, "Agila."

Marcos also mentioned his meetings with other world leaders, including his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, to whom he voiced his concerns over the persistent tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

The president also had working visits in Los Angeles, California and Honolulu, Hawaii.

In Honolulu, Marcos looked back on his family's time in the US state after the EDSA People Power Revolution toppled the dictatorship of his father, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos, in 1986.

Marcos also visited the Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters in Honolulu, where he was expected to have a “capability orientation” amid the escalating conflict in the West Philippine Sea.

The president's recent trip to the US is his third since starting office.