Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/06/08MANILA1354.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MANILA1354
2008-06-05 01:33
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO1546
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1354/01 1570133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050133Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0909
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 001354

STATE FOR EAP/EX
STATE PASS USAID

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CASC ASEC BTIO BEXP EAIR PGOV ECON EAID RP

SUBJECT: DCM Emphasizes Close Ties, Partnerships in Northern Philippines

REF: A. 07 Manila 03341
¶B. 07 Manila 01020
¶C. 07 Manila 01494

¶1. (U) SUMMARY: The DCM reached out to officials, key civic
leaders and consular wardens in the two most Northern provinces of
the Philippines to highlight U.S. commitment to the region through
donation of law enforcement equipment and engagement with local
leaders. On the two-day trip to cities of Laoag and Vigan, the DCM
met with the provincial governors of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur,
the mayors of the two provincial capitals, the Bishop, and visited a
number of cultural locations, including two UNESCO designated sites.
The Philippine media covered the events positively. END SUMMARY.

Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur – The Background
——————————————–

¶2. (U) The Ilocos region has strong ties to the U.S. through a
century of migration that began with large numbers of laborers
emigrating to work on Hawaiian pineapple plantations in 1906. A
visit by Governor Lingle of Hawaii in 2006 marking the centennial
anniversary continues to be an important topic for officials in the
region. The people-to-people ties between the Ilocanos and
Americans, especially in Hawaii, are very strong. Agriculture and
services account for 87% of the economic activity in the region.
The major crops are rice, corn, tobacco and high value crops such as
onions, garlic, mango, and eggplants. Poultry, swine, and
aquaculture are major factors as well. Tobacco is the major export
product generating more then 80% of the region’s $15-million export
revenue in 2006. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) opened its
second consulate for the Philippines in Laoag City in April 2007
with the stated intention of promoting investment in Ilocos Norte,
especially in the mining and agribusiness sectors (ref B).
Political rivalries and dynasties of the region, home to Presidents
Quirino and Marcos, still shape politics in the region, as detailed
in refs a and c.

Laoag City and the Farinas Clan
——————————-

¶2. (SBU) The DCM met with Laoag City Mayor Michael Farinas, the
most recent in a long line of Farinas family members who have
controlled the city for many years. After several years of conflict
with the previous Governor of Ilocos Norte, Ferdinand “Bongbong”
Marcos Jr., the Farinas clan no longer allies itself with the Marcos
clan. However, Mayor Farinas was very complimentary of the efforts
of newly elected Governor Michael Keon, the nephew of the late
President Marcos. During a luncheon at the City Hall, the DCM
remarked on the abundance of activity that surely reflected the
energetic policies of the mayor, a former President of the
Philippine League of Villages and a Battalion Commander of the
Philippine Army Reserves. Two different seminars were being
conducted in meeting rooms for civic leaders and city supervisors.
At the same time, school children were engaged in summer programs
that have grown tenfold to 3,000 students since being initiated by
the mayor and his wife three years ago. The mayor articulated his
top two priorities were to upgrade the airport in an effort to
increase the number of international flights and tourists, and to
facilitate the construction of a new hospital that would improve the
delivery of medical services to the region.

Ilocos Norte and the Marcos Clan
——————————–

¶3. (SBU) The election of Michael Marcos Keon last year as governor
of Ilocos Norte continued the dominance of provincial p

   

 

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