Sep 132014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/11/06MANILA4600.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4600 2006-11-06 09:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO0253
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4600 3100918
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 060918Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3805
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 004600

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/06/2016
TAGS: PGOV MARR PREL RP
SUBJECT: DEFENSE REFORM AND C-T OPERATIONS TO CONTINUE AFTER SECDEF RESIGNATION

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) In a private meeting with Ambassador on November 6,
Presidential Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita made clear
that the Philippines remained fully committed to
comprehensive implementation of the Philippine Defense Reform
(PDR) program despite the November 5 resignation of Defense
Secretary Avelino Cruz, Jr., which will take effect November

SIPDIS
¶30. Ermita described PDR as an “irreversible” program of
institutional change, noting that elements of it had actually
begun during his own tenure as Defense Secretary, just before
Cruz came into office. Ermita also stressed that
U.S.-Philippine counter-terrorism efforts would continue
regardless of who is named SecDef. Ambassador reiterated
U.S. support for this important Philippine program and
assured Ermita that we would continue to work closely with
the new Defense Secretary once he is named.

¶2. (C) Political observers had been speculating for at
least the past week on Cruz’ likely departure from the
Cabinet, where he had served for almost six years in
different capacities, following his public broadside against
the “People’s Initiative” effort to amend the Constitution,
which he labeled “harebrained.” Reports circulated openly
in the media that three members of the Cabinet were “gunning”
for Cruz. According to Malacanang insiders, these included
Ermita as well as Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and
National Security Advisor Norberto Gonzales, while media
reports fingered Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor
and Political Advisor Gabby Claudio.

¶3. (C) Some DND Undersecretaries whom Cruz appointed will
likely resign soon as well, but Ermita assured the Ambassador
that those most closely shepherding PDR — notably, U/S
Ernesto Carolina — will remain in place.

¶4. (C) Comment: PDR has already gained so much momentum
and buy-in from the Philippine Government, Philippine
Department of National Defense, and Armed Forces of the
Philippines that Cruz’ departure should not hinder further
progress on its goals. Similarly, the President and the
Philippine Armed Forces are four-square behind C-T operations
against terrorists in Mindanao. Embassy will continue
closely to work with Philippine Defense and Armed Forces
officials on PDR, counterterrorism, training, and other
bilateral mil/mil efforts with this treaty ally. Ambassador
has a previously scheduled November 8 meeting with Secretary
Cruz, at which she will convey our appreciation for his
leadership role, offer best wishes in his next career, and
pledge continued support for his eventual successor. She
will soon also meet with Armed Forces Chief of Staff Esperon
to gauge the service chiefs’ reactions. PM A/S Hillen’s
scheduled November 10 meeting with Cruz will provide a timely
opportunity to reiterate our points. If possible, letters of
appreciation to Cruz from Secretary Rumsfeld and Admiral
Fallon would be most welcome as well. The first civilian to
serve as Defense Secretary since the martial law period under
Marcos, Cruz was instrumental in reforming, resourcing, and
de-politicizing the Philippine Armed Forces.

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

   

 

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