Oct 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/11/09MANILA2382.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA2382
2009-11-13 08:55
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO6905
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHML #2382/01 3170855
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130855Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5789
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002382

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO PEACE CORPS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KISL KPAO EAID RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HONORS WORLD WAR II HEROES AND EMPHASIZES AN ENDURING PARTNERSHIP

¶1. SUMMARY. On October 20, the Ambassador addressed President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other dignitaries at the 65th
anniversary commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landings in Leyte
Province, in Eastern Visayas. The Ambassador reminded the audience
of the shared history between the United States and the Philippines
and emphasized the United States’ commitment to maintaining an
enduring partnership with the Philippines. During her first visit
to the province, the Ambassador also toured America-based APAC’s new
call center, a hopeful sign of an economic upswing for the region,
and visited 21 new Peace Corps trainees from two regional clusters.
During a live radio interview, the Ambassador highlighted the U.S.
role in disaster relief in the wake of Tropical Storm Ondoy and
Typhoon Pepeng. Throughout her trip, the Ambassador integrated
social networking media by recording video clips for YouTube and
sending Twitter updates. END SUMMARY.

————————-
HONORING A SACRED PROMISE
————————-

¶2. An enthusiastic crowd greeted the Ambassador in Palo, Leyte to
celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landings at the
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park. It was on this site in
1944 that General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return
to reclaim the Philippines from the Japanese, making Palo the first
liberated town. The theme of this year’s celebration was QA Salute
to the Valor of Our Last Living Heroes.Q Prior to the start of the
program, the Ambassador spoke warmly to local media of the
historical significance of Leyte Landings. The Ambassador also
spoke with Governor of Leyte Carlos Jericho Petilla and Philippine
Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro.

¶3. The program began with the arrival of the Guest of Honor,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Arroyo inspected her Armed
Forces and then led the Ambassador and other dignitaries in a
wreath-laying ceremony at the shrine of General MacArthur. Each
wreath was symbolically given to the people of the Philippines from
the people of the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada,
respectively. In her remarks, the Ambassador emphasized how the
anniversary of the Leyte Landings marked the day in which Qour two
nations honored a sacred promise and dedication to one another and
their pact for liberty for their peoples.Q After the ceremony, the
Ambassador spoke with American World War II veterans who had
traveled to Leyte in honor of the occasion.

——————–
PEACE CORPS IN LEYTE
——————–

¶4. Prior to the anniversary celebration, the Ambassador visited 21
Peace Corps trainees, from both the Tanauan and Palo clusters,
during their Waray language training. (Waray is spoken in the
provinces of Leyte , Samar, Northern Samar, and Biliran.) The
trainees, working on education or environmental projects, were in
their ninth week of pre-service training, which prepares trainees to
serve effectively and to be self-reliant, to use the local language,
to understand Filipino culture, and to live safely in the
Philippines. Trainees taught the Ambassador some Waray phrases,
which she used during her remarks at the Leyte Landings ceremony and
during her live radio interview. With the help of the trainees, the
Ambassador ended her visit by recording a brief video message,
subsequently posted on YouTube
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8Nm-gHossM), highlighting her visit
to the region and the work of the Peace Corps volunteers.

———————–
A LITTLE BIT OF AMERICA
———————–

¶5. Following her visit with the Peace Corps, the Ambassador toured
the newest APAC call center facility in Palo, Leyte. The facility
is one of four in the Philippines operated by APAC, which is
headquartered in Bannockburn, Illinois. APAC’s other three call
centers are located in Metro Manila. The Leyte facility is the
first call center in Eastern Visayas and represents the start of a
new era of development in the region after worsening poverty trends
over the past few years. During her visit, the Ambassador met new
and veteran staff members from as far as Manila and observed
real-time customer calls from the U.S. The Leyte facility, which
can accommodate 1,000 agents, has hired 700 employees since opening
in March 2009. The Ambassador ended her tour by recording another
short video message for YouTube highlighting APAC’s success
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TixhOTVQvCY).

¶6. After the anniversary ceremony, the Ambassador stopped for lunch
at American franchise Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. The Ambassador met the
franchise owner and thanked the restaurant staff for all of their
hard work.

MANILA 00002382 002 OF 002

————————–
TALKING TO EASTERN VISAYAS
————————–

¶7. During the Ambassador’s live radio interview with DYVL-AM, the
top radio station in Leyte, she spoke warmly of the historical
significance of the Leyte Landings and emphasized the strong and
enduring relationship between the United States and the Philippines.
She also highlighted U.S. disaster assistance to the Philippines in
the wake of Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng, through our
military cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The assistance included family food packets, clothing and water, in
addition to financial donations through USAID. The Ambassador
emphasized U.S. respect for Philippine sovereignty and explained
U.S. troops were in the Philippines at the invitation of the
Philippine Government to support and advise the AFP and to help
develop and sustain the AFP’s counterterrorism capacity.

KENNEY

   

 

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