Mr. President, Mrs. Marcos, our dear friends here in the Philippines:
No words can express the deep gratitude and great appreciation that Mrs. Ford and I have had for the opportunity of visiting your very beautiful country and meeting your just superb people.
To you and to all the Philippine people, my deepest thanks for the exceptional, unbelievable hospitality which made our visit here truly memorable. The frank and very cordial discussions that we have had here, Mr. President, have convinced me of the unshakable bonds between our two countries in the search for a better world for our children and our children's children.
In the past 24 hours, Mr. President, we have discussed a great variety of subjects. We talked in particular about the economic relationship between our two countries and our alliance and our security arrangements.
As befits two old and battle-tested allies, these talks have been very frank and very penetrating. I thank you for the keen insight you have given me into your country's hopes and great aspirations.
Our conversations convinced me of the depth of understanding between the United States and the Philippines, which will permit points on which we may differ to be resolved without becoming items of major conflict.
As I leave today, I go home convinced that the relationship of mutual respect and mutual trust between our two countries is the continuing basis for a true alliance today as well as in the future.
On behalf of Mrs. Ford, our daughter Susan, and all of our delegation--yes, all of the American people--I thank you and Mrs. Marcos and all of the people of the Philippines for the gracious, the kind, and the wonderful reception that we had. We are most appreciative.Note: The President spoke at 2:52 p.m. at the Manila International Airport. President Marcos responded as follows:
For and on behalf of the 42 million Filipinos, on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, and on my own personal behalf and that of my wife, I wish you a happy trip home and hope that you will bring with you to the American people the affection and good will that you have found in the Philippines.
You came to Asia, Mr. President, with one message underneath--that America has no intention of withdrawing into the Pacific and into your hemisphere and abandoning Asia and your allies in the Pacific.
It is, therefore, with confidence that we face the future. All Asian countries and Asian leaders take courage in your work and shall mark your work with resolution to move forward in preparedness for their security as well as for their development.
The confidence that you instill in the Asian nations today shall be met with the effort of obtaining self-reliance, and it is our hope that the bond of friendship and comity that now exists between our two countries shall continue strengthening.
With the faith on the part of the Filipino people, we can hopefully say, go with God, Mr. President, and may you succeed on your mission of peace.
Earlier in the day, President Ford and President Marcos went to Manila Harbor where they boarded the presidential yacht for a trip to Corregidor Island. During the trip, the two Presidents held a meeting on the yacht.