Oct 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/06/06MANILA2554.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA2554 2006-06-19 08:16 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO2923
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2554/01 1700816
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 190816Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1574
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002554

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2016
TAGS: PTER PREL MARR PINS RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR AND ADMIRAL FALLON MEET WITH PRESIDENT ARROYO

REF: MANILA 2548 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary. On June 5, the Ambassador and Admiral
Fallon met for breakfast with President Arroyo. In a
wide-ranging conversation, President Arroyo offered her views
on GRP counterterrorism efforts; the peace process in
Mindanao; and her upcoming trip to Jolo to visit the USNS
Mercy. End Summary.

¶2. (C) On June 5, Ambassador Kenney and Admiral William J.
Fallon, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) met for
breakfast with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
at Villamor Air Force Base in Manila. President Arroyo was
joined by her Chief of Staff, Michael Defensor, and
Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for
American Affairs Rey Carandang. President Arroyo appeared
more relaxed and less formal than usual.

————————————–
Terrorism and the Southern Philippines
————————————–

¶3. (C) Much of the discussion focused on terrorism.
President Arroyo opened the conversation by stating that the
GRP would like to expand its work with Indonesia and Malaysia
on counterterrorism. (Note: In 2002, the Philippines,
Indonesia, and Malaysia signed an Anti-Terrorist Trilateral
Agreement to facilitate information-sharing on terrorism and
transnational crime. End note.) President Arroyo said that
she would particularly like to see greater cooperation among
the countries on maritime security, and that she hoped that
the Philippines could use its upcoming position as chair of
ASEAN to promote this. The Ambassador and Admiral Fallon
agreed that this would be a worthwhile effort and encouraged
President Arroyo not only to pursue it but also to publicize
it widely.

¶4. (C) Turning to the peace process with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF), President Arroyo stated that she was
optimistic about the ongoing peace talks, and she found
Malaysia’s mediation of the talks very helpful. She said,
however, that Malaysia was now asking the GRP to open a
consulate on Sabah, perhaps as a reward for hosting the
talks.
¶5. (C) Admiral Fallon expressed his appreciation for the
Security Engagement Board (SEB), and his hope that it could
help move the peace process and counterterrorism efforts
forward. President Arroyo agreed, and noted that Defense
Secretary Avelino Cruz in particular was working to make GRP

SIPDIS
participation in the SEB effective.

¶6. (C) President Arroyo affirmed the GRP’s commitment to
mitigating Christian-Muslim tensions in Mindanao. The
Ambassador agreed that the issue was important and said that
it is a priority for the USG as well. She noted that ongoing
USG projects in Mindanao are sensitive to such tensions and
facilitate increasing cooperation between Christian and
Muslim populations.

———-
Subic Case
———-

¶7. (C) The Ambassador and Admiral Fallon used the breakfast
as an opportunity to raise with the President the case of
four U.S. Marines accused of raping a Filipina (reftel). The
Ambassador stressed that the USG is committed to seeing that
justice is served through a fair and impartial trial and that
both our legal systems adhere to the concept of innocent
until proven guilty. She also expressed Mission’s concern
about the intense media scrutiny the case has received in the
Philippines. President Arroyo said that the GRP shared the
USG’s commitment to a fair judicial process, and that she too
was concerned about the publicity surrounding the trial. She
reiterated the GRP’s commitment to strong and positive
bilateral relations with the U.S. and noted that it was
important not to let this case affect our good relations,
regardless of the trial’s outcome.

—————————–
GMA’s Visit to the USNS Mercy
—————————–

¶8. (C) President Arroyo said she was excited about her June
9 visit to the USNS Mercy, a hospital ship visiting the
Philippines on a medical humanitarian mission and at that
time anchored in Jolo. She stressed that efforts like these
were important to the Philippines because of the hope they

MANILA 00002554 002 OF 002

brought to terrorist-infested areas, and welcomed more such
visits in the future.

¶9. (C) President Arroyo subsequently visited the USNS Mercy
in Jolo on June 9, where she was greeted by the Ambassador.
President Arroyo was accompanied by Governor Ben Loong of
Sulu and Governor Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region of
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The President said she was impressed
with what she saw, and subsequently said that she would like
to develop a similar hospital ship for the Philippine navy.
Following her visit to the Mercy, President Arroyo visited
Sulu Province Hospital and Panglima Adga Elementary School in
Panamao, both of which house USG projects funded through
USAID and JSOTF-P. President Arroyo’s visit to the Mercy was
widely and favorably covered by local media.

Kenney

   

 

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