Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1922 2006-05-05 00:20 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1922 1250020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050020Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0836
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS MANILA 001922
STATE FOR EAP, PM, EAP/MTS, S/CT, INR/TNC, INR/EAP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER MCAP KISL EAID KPAO RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR VISITS JOLO ISLAND
REF: MANILA 001396
¶1. SUMMARY. The Ambassador’s April 26 trip to Jolo
successfully highlighted USG efforts — ranging from JSOTF
civil-military operations to USAID computer literacy and
infrastructure projects — to change the dynamic of this
long-time Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiyah safe- haven
and recruiting ground. END SUMMARY.
¶2. Warmly welcomed by Sulu Provincial Governor Benjamin
Loong, other local civilian and military officials, and
crowds of waving and smiling Sulu citizens of all ages, the
Ambassador used her April 26 visit to Jolo Island in the
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to highlight USG
initiatives aimed at helping the GRP win back this long-time
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) sanctuary
and terrorist recruiting ground. Her first stop in Jolo City
was to lay flowers at the bombed-out ruin of the Sulu
Consumer Cooperative, which was destroyed by ASG terrorists
in a March 27 bombing that left nine people dead and at least
20 more injured — the majority of them Muslims.
¶3. In Maimbung town, Ambassador visited a high school built
by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and US troops during
Balikatan-06 and equipped with 10 computers from U.S. AID’s
Computer Literacy and Internet Connection (CLIC) Program.
The Ambassador joined Governor Loong and the Maimbung mayor
for a formal opening of a port facility renovated under U.S.
AID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program (GEM). This
almost one million dollar infrastructure project will
significantly improve economic activities and transportation
services between Maimbung and neighboring municipalities.
The Ambassador also participated in a ground breaking
ceremony for the Maimbung Area Community Center, which the
AFP and Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines will
construct in 2006. The site will serve as a future town hall
and center for community information meetings; medical,
occupational, and livelihood training programs; and social
events, promoting civil society and a more open and
transparent government that is in touch with its citizens.
¶4. During a live interview on the local radio station, the
Ambassador highlighted U.S. support for peace and prosperity.
Local and national media carried this message of cooperation
and effective transformation for several days.
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