Sep 242014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/02/07MANILA649.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA649 2007-02-27 09:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO8596
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0649/01 0580938
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 270938Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5447
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2178
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0205
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000649

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/27/2012
TAGS: PHUM PREL BM RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR REES ADVOCATES U.S. HUMAN DIGNITY AGENDA

Classified By: Political Counselor Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4(b) and (d
)

¶1. (SBU) Summary. During his February 14-15 visit to the
Philippines, Ambassador Grover Joseph Rees, Special
Representative for Social Issues, advocated the U.S.
Government human dignity agenda in meetings with the
Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, members of the
Philippine House of Representatives, leaders of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and health officials.
Ambassador Rees focused particularly on spreading awareness
of Burma’s use of rape as an instrument of armed conflict, on
U.S. efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality rates,
mobilizing UN human rights agencies to have a greater
practical impact, and drumming up support for U.S. efforts in
regional and UN fora. End Summary.

——————————
DFA ADHERES TO ASEAN CONSENSUS
——————————

¶2. (SBU) In his visit to the Department of Foreign Affairs,
Ambassador Rees briefed Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda
Basilio, Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs
Romeo Manalo, and Assistant Secretary for American Affairs
Rey Carandang on the Burmese government’s use of rape to
suppress rebellious minority communities. Ambassador Rees
asked that the Philippines raise the issue bilaterally with
Burma or in multilateral fora, and also call for a halt to
this practice. A/S Manalo requested a copy of the report on
this subject.

¶3. (C) U/S Basilio noted the Philippines’ traditional
reluctance to support country-specific resolutions in the UN,
and reiterated the Philippines’ adherence to the regional
preference for “engagement” and consensus. She stated that
ASEAN, with the Philippines as its chair this year, is
nonetheless “preparing a package” to encourage Burma to take
steps that would keep it off the UN Human Rights Council’s
agenda. A/S Manalo added that the Philippines and other
ASEAN nations are committed to pursuing confidence-building
measures. He cited a plan currently under consideration to
dispatch medical teams to Burma.

¶4. (SBU) Ambassador Rees also sought Philippine support for
the UN Human Rights Council resolution against religious
intolerance, stressing that the resolution must be balanced
and cover not only Muslims but other religions as well.
Ambassador Rees promoted U.S.-sponsored resolutions against
forced early marriage and female infanticide and prenatal
screening for gender to be tabled at the UN Commission on the
Status of Women, while recognizing that the Philippines is
not a member of the Commission.

¶5. (SBU) In separate meetings with Undersecretary of
Foreign Affairs for Special Concerns Rafael Seguis and with
Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs for United Nations and
International Organizations Aladin Villacorte, Ambassador
Rees reinforced these key points. He also discussed with A/S
Villacorte making the United Nations’ human rights and
developmental assistance bodies more results-oriented.

——————————-
MYANMAR CAUCUS REP PRAISES U.S.
——————————-

¶6. (SBU) Ambassador Rees met with Philippine Members of
Congress Etta Rosales and Mario Aguja. (Representative
Rosales is an active member of the ASEAN Interparliamentary
Myanmar Caucus and an outspoken critic of the Burmese junta.)
Ambassador Rees briefed them on Burma’s
government-sanctioned rape and the narrowly-defeated UN
Security Council resolution on Burma. Representative Rosales
praised the United States’ tough stance on Burma, and
compared U.S. efforts favorably to those of the European
Union.

——————
HEALTH CARE ISSUES
——————

¶7. (SBU) World Health Organization representative Jean-Marc
Olive and Philippine National Center for Disease Prevention
and Control Director Yolanda Oliveras briefed Ambassador Rees
on their respective activities in the Philippines. Oliveras
outlined a current Philippine Department of Health disease
reduction program targeting dengue fever, HIV/AIDS, malaria,
leprosy, schistosomiasis, and rabies. Department of Health
efforts in child/maternal health care start with the premise
that every pregnancy is “high risk” and aim to make clinics,
medication, and immunization widely available. Olive lauded

MANILA 00000649 002 OF 002

the Philippine Government’s funding of various health care
measures, especially relative to those of other countries in
the region, but noted that, because of this, various
international donor entities do not devote much-needed
assistance to the Philippines.

—————————-
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE
—————————-

¶8. (SBU) The Ambassador met with General Secretary Juanito
Figura and Spokesperson Pedro Quitorio of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and discussed
combating AIDS in the region, maternal and child health
issues, and bioethics challenges. Recognizing the CBCP as a
“natural ally” in many of these areas of concern, Ambassador
Rees encouraged the monsignors to continue to be engaged on
domestic issues. Monsignors Figura and Quitorio requested
Ambassador Rees’ support in returning the Balanguiga Bells to
the Province of Samar, which Ambassador Rees promised to
explore.

¶9. (U) Ambassador Rees did not have the opportunity to clear
this message.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

KENNEY

   

 

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