Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/04/06MANILA1845.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1845 2006-04-27 10:53 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6492
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1845/01 1171053
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271053Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0751
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 001845

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS; PLEASE PASS USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID PTER EAGR RP
SUBJECT: ARMM LEADERSHIP PLEDGES COOPERATION ON TERRORISM, DEVELOPMENT

¶1. (SBU) Summary. In an April 20 meeting with Ambassador,
Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Datu
Zaldy Uy Ampatuan and his senior staff acknowledged the
vital importance of combating terrorism but expressed a hope
that the GRP would involve Local Government Units more
directly in the peace process with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF). They thanked the USG for its
assistance, including PL-480 funds as well as USAID
programs, and noted heightened powers for the ARMM on donor
coordination. Our cooperation with the ARMM government will
grow increasingly important with the eventual signing of a
GRP/MILF accord and its implementation. Governor Ampatuan’s
initiative in reaching out to the Embassy is a good sign
that this relationship will promote further peace and
development throughout Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
End Summary.

¶2. (U) ARMM Governor Ampatuan, who won the August 2005
elections and became governor at the end of September,
sought an early appointment with the Ambassador. On April
20, he brought eight members of his senior staff for an hour-
long meeting in Manila with her and relevant members of the
Country Team. The Governor’s staff provided extensive
materials, including the Governor’s inaugural remarks, plan
of action, and list of senior officials to share with the
Embassy.

Counterterrorism
——————–

¶3. (SBU) The Governor and his staff vowed to continue
cooperation with the USG in combating terrorism, recognizing
that peace was a necessary prerequisite for development.
They described a new Memorandum of Understanding between the
ARMM and the Bureau of Immigration to resolve a current lack
of formal immigration controls throughout the ARMM, as well
as another Memorandum of Understanding with the Department
of Tourism that would help also fight terrorism while at the
same time promoting more tourism in the ARMM. The
Ambassador expressed appreciation for the serious attention
to security described by the Governor and staff.

¶4. (SBU) However, the ARMM officials voiced some concerns
about a future peace accord between the GRP and the MILF,
noting the still contentious issue of ancestral domain.
They expressed the hope that the GRP would allow a greater
rol for Local Government Units (including the ARMM’s ive
provinces and one city) in preparing for andin implementing
this eventual accord. The Goveror highlighted that he
represented all the Bangsamoro people, not any one tribe or
group.

Develpment
—————-

¶5. (U) The Governorand his staff expressed appreciation
for USG assstance in the ARMM and requested the
continuatio – and even expansion — of these various
programs, which had already contributed significantly togrowing peac and development throughout the ARMM. They
called for special attention to the most ppulous province
of Maguindanao. They underlinedthe centrality of
education, and offered special hanks for the USAID-funded
Equalls program (provding both opportunities for school-age
youth to emain in school and advice on amendments to the
RMM Education Act to make it more inclusive). The
Ambassador promised that various USAID programs wuld remain
robust in the ARMM and other conflictaffected areas of
Mindanao, and that we would mantain the close cooperation
between the Embassy nd the ARMM government. She
underscored our commitment to help bring peace and
prosperity throughout the Philippines.

¶6. (U) The ARMM officials also lauded the important
infrastructure projects by the USAID-funded GEM program and
sought the Ambassador’s support for expansion of the World
Bank-funded Land Administration Management Program (LAMP)
into the ARMM. They noted the successful use of USDA PL-80
funds, especially for farm to market roads. They urged
“continued sustainable support” from the USG for the ARMM,
where most people depended on agriculture, fishing, and
forestry. They described two recent Executive Orders from
the President that centralized the ARMM government’s role in
social and economic development, including coordination of

MANILA 00001845 002 OF 002

foreign assistance.

Comment
————

¶7. (SBU) Governor Ampatuan is the first governor to
request a meeting with the Ambassador. The high-level
nature of his delegation and the serious preparation by the
staff reflect the vital importance with which the ARMM
officials view the role of the USG in promoting peace and
development in the ARMM. Governor Ampatuan has often
pledged to have a more hands-on presence in the ARMM capital
of Cotaboto City than his predecessor (whom many residents
perceived as being virtually based in Manila instead), and
this may help to enhance the ARMM’s often weak authority
over its component provinces.
KENNEY

   

 

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