Oct 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/03/09MANILA506.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA506
2009-03-10 00:05
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO4605
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHML #0506/01 0690005
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 100005Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3440
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000506

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KISL KPAO RP
SUBJECT: AMABASSADOR STRENGTHENS HISTORIC U.S. TIES TO BAGUIO CITY

¶1. Summary. During a February 28 to March 1 visit to Baguio City,
the Ambassador emphasized the importance of the historical links
between the region and the United States and showcased the
continuing important partnership between the United States and the
Philippines. She visited the Philippine Military Academy and met
with the regional and Baguio police chiefs to strengthen
relationships and underscore the vital role security services play
in upholding human rights. She attended the Panagbenga festival
with local and regional officials where she showed support for two
USAID sponsored environmental groups performing in the parade. The
Ambassador also visited with officials at a regional university with
links to the United States where she also met a U.S. Peace Corps
Volunteer teaching in the humanities department and coaching the
regional champion elementary school soccer team. End summary.

——————-
BAGUIO: HISTORIC LINKAGES WITH THE UNITED STATES
——————-

¶2. Baguio City was established by Americans in 1900 at the site of
an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. It was designated by the
Philippine Commission as the Summer Capital of the Philippines on
June 1, 1903 and incorporated as a city by the Philippine Assembly
on September 1, 1909. There is a presidential mansion, as well as
Supreme Court and legislative offices in Baguio. Baguio is the seat
of government of the Cordillera Administrative Region. The United
States contributes to the prosperity of Baguio by assigning U.S.
Peace Corps Volunteers in the areas of education, youth development
and environmental education. Books and materials are provided to an
American Shelf at the Baguio City Public Library, the Philippine
Military Academy and an American Studies Resource Center (ASRC) at
St. Louis University. USAID supports several local environmental
and health initiatives. The United States also continues to assist
American companies in the Baguio area.

———–
VISIT TO MILITARY ACADEMY STRENGTHENS TIES
———–
¶3. The Ambassador was greeted with full honors at the Philippine
Military Academy where she had an office call with the
Superintendent, Vice Admiral Leonardo C. Calderon, JR. Vice Admiral
Calderon said that the academy was having trouble filling its
recruitment quotas due in large part to competition from the
merchant marines, which offers significant opportunities for
Philippine seafarers. He mentioned a popular new reality show on
Philippine television about two young Philippine Military Academy
recruits as a possible answer to part of the problem by piquing
interest in the Philippine Armed Forces. The Ambassador praised the
cooperation between the Philippine Armed Forced and the Philippine
National Police. Vice Admiral Calderon requested U.S. military
field manuals be made available at the Academy’s American Shelf.
The Ambassador then addressed the entire cadet corps, stressing the
importance of human rights and elections to healthy democracy.

———
HISTORIC FESTIVAL EVENT SHOWCASES U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS
———

¶4. The Ambassador attended the street dance parade with Congressman
Mauricio Domogan and Baguio Mayor Reinaldo Bautista. Baguio’s
annual Panagbenga, a street dance competition inspired by the
Bendian, an Ibaloi dance of celebration that originated in the
Cordillera region, is presented by dancers clad in flower-inspired
costumes. The event took on special significance this year as
Baguio celebrates its centennial. USAID’s Sustainable Energy
Development Program and Energy and Clean Air Project participated in
the competition to showcase the youth’s concern for energy
conservation and environmental protection. In addition to
supporting U.S. environmental objectives in the region, the
Ambassador’s involvement in the Panagbenga celebration allowed her
to reinforce the historical relationship between the United States
and the Baguio region.

———
DISCUSSION WITH POLICE CHIEFS HIGHLIGHTS SECURITY CONCERNS
———
¶5. The Ambassador met with the Benguet regional police chief and
the Baguio City police chief at the Baguio residence. She raised
the issue of possible election violence during the 2010 presidential
elections, stressing the importance of effective investigations of
extra-judicial murders. Both the regional and Baguio City police
chiefs said that they are aware of problems in the region with
trafficking in persons and the production of marijuana. The
Ambassador praised the regional and Baguio City police for providing
effective protection for U.S. businesses, U.S. Peace Corps
volunteers and tourists in the area. The chiefs thanked the
Ambassador for U.S. funding and support for the model police station
in Baguio City.

MANILA 00000506 002 OF 002

———
MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
——–

¶6. The Ambassador was able to address both national and local media
at the Panagbenga festival. She emphasized the close historical
relationship between the United States and Baguio City and
highlighted the USAID supported environmental projects taking place
in the region. During a taped regional television interview, the
Ambassador spoke to the people of Baguio about her visit to the
Flower Festival and the special relationship the United States has
with the city. The Ambassador reached a national audience with a
live radio interview at Benguet State University. She focused
comments on the historical and ongoing relationship between the
United States and the Benguet region.

———
U.S. TIES WITH BENGUET STATE UNIVERSITY STRENGTHENED
———

¶7. The Ambassador met with the university president and other
school officials during her visit to Benguet State University. The
university was founded in 1918 by Americans and has grown into an
important regional school. During her visit, she said that the
relationship between the university and the United States has
continued to be strong. The Ambassador also met with a U.S. Peace
Corps volunteer who teaches in the humanities department. The
volunteer recently coached a team of elementary school soccer player
to the regional championship. The Ambassador interacted with the
children and university officials during the team’s practice
session.

KENNEY

   

 

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