Oct 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/01/07MANILA72.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA72 2007-01-09 09:33 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO2740
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0072 0090933
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090933Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4514
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 000072

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, PM, EAP/MTS, AND S/CT
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO AND J5
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (TOOLAN/BAILEY)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL EAID MOPS MARR RP
SUBJECT: ARROYO SHOWCASES US-PHILIPPINE PARTNERSHIP ON JOLO AND DEFENDS VFA

¶1. (SBU) President Arroyo invited Charge Jones to accompany
her on a January 8 trip to the southern island of Jolo, where
the Philippine military, with the help of U.S. Joint Special
Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) and USAID,
continues to battle terrorists of the Abu Sayyaf Group and
Jemaah Islamiyah. She highlighted for the Philippine public
the benefits of what she called the US-Philippine “strategic
alliance against terrorism and poverty.”

¶2. (U) While on Jolo, President Arroyo and Charge inaugurated
a $1 million USAID-financed road in the former terrorist
stronghold of Parang, which will reduce driving time to Jolo
City from a day to just a half hour. Armed Forces of the
Philippines Chief of Staff General Esperon, who later led a
command briefing to the President, remarked to Charge that,
as a young officer, it had taken him a week of hard fighting
to reach the previously remote area. President Arroyo and
Charge also inaugurated a refurbished military trauma center
at Camp Bautista, which will be used to treat wounded
soldiers. In her remarks to the soldiers and the press,
President Arroyo especially applauded the Philippine military
for its successful January 6 operation killing six
significant terrorists (septel).

¶3. (SBU) Beginning on January 6 and 7, the government-owned
television station aired a new documentary explaining the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the terms of the Smith
custody transfer. The documentary highlighted the importance
of the VFA and joint military exercises to the US-Philippine
relationship. Malacanang has also commissioned US-based
journalists to make a documentary on the US-Philippine joint
activities on Jolo and the upcoming Balikatan exercises.
Mission officers will provide all possible support for this
endeavor. These public outreach efforts will complement the
upcoming release of a Mission-produced documentary on the
success of joint US-Philippine development and military
operations on the former terrorist stronghold island of
Basilan, as part of the Balikatan-02 military exercise.

¶4. (SBU) Comment: Under President Arroyo’s personal
leadership, the Philippine government is now engaged in a
more pro-active and sophisticated approach to explain
publicly the value and importance of the Philippine
partnership with the United States in the fight against
terrorism and poverty, with a special emphasis on how the VFA
makes such cooperation possible. We plan to reinforce this
message in the coming weeks with the release of our Basilan
documentary, the portcalls of the USS BLUE RIDGE, the
Balikatan-07 exercise, and the visit of Undersecretary Karen
Hughes, among other ongoing activities.

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

   

 

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