Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/11/05MANILA5331.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5331
2005-11-15 02:07
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 005331

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, G/TIP, IO/UNP
NSC FOR H. MORROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2015
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR MARR PTER PHUM ETRD RP BM UNSC
SUBJECT: EAP DAS JOHN’S NOVEMBER 11 MEETING WITH PRESIDENT ARROYO: PDR, COUNTERTERRORISM, TIFA, TIP, BURMA

REF: A. MANILA 5317

¶B. MANILA 5300

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Paul W. Jones for
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: EAP DAS John and Charge met November 11 with
President Arroyo. Arroyo underscored her government’s
support for Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) and continued
counterterrorism cooperation. She expressed interest in the
U.S. and the GRP agreeing to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA),
said the GRP was committed to fighting TIP, and also pledged
support for a proposed UN Security Council briefing on the
Burmese human rights situation. DAS John noted the USG’s
continued support for PDR, urged the GRP to make the U.S.-GRP
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) as effective
as possible, urged more progress on TIP, and thanked Arroyo
for her support regarding Burma. (See Septel for Arroyo’s
comments regarding emergency rule and Ref A concerning her
comments on the alleged rape case involving U.S. Marines.)
End Summary.

Philippine Defense Reform
————————-

¶2. (C) EAP DAS Eric John, accompanied by CDA Jones, met with
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on November 11. (complete
list of participants in para 8). John emphasized that he was
focused on improving the already positive level of
cooperation between the U.S. and the Philippines on a range
of substantive issues. He cited several areas where the USG
and the GRP were working together well such as Philippine
Defense Reform (PDR), counterterrorism, and economic reform.
President Arroyo noted that she strongly supported PDR and
was working to strengthen it. Arroyo said the GRP
anticipated a savings of 37 billion pesos (USD 673 million)
on its debt service in 2006 due to increased revenue
collection, which will enable her to seek Congressional
approval to allocate more funds to PDR. Arroyo inquired
whether the USG would be able to match any additional GRP
contributions to PDR. DAS John responded that it would
depend on future U.S. budgets, but that the USG would try to
do all it could to support the program. Arroyo commented
that if the U.S. were unable to match the GRP’s increased
funding, the GRP would finance that part of PDR itself
because the program was very important to her government.
(Note: See septel regarding DAS John’s discussion of PDR
with GRP defense officials. End Note.)

Counterterrorism
—————-

¶3. (C) Arroyo added that PDR would result in the Philippines
being better equipped to fight terrorism. DAS John pointed
out that Southeast Asia remained a significant front in the
global war on terror and praised the excellent cooperation
between the USG and GRP in the southern Philippines. The
enactment of a counterterrorism law by the Philippines would
send a strong signal, as would success in apprehending key
terrorists. Arroyo noted the recent arrests of several
high-value terrorist suspects, adding that her government
firmly supported an anti-terrorism law and was pushing it
forward in Congress.

Trade and Investment
——————–

¶4. (C) Arroyo inquired about the status of the TIFA between
the USG and the GRP. She expressed interest in a US-RP FTA
in the future. DAS John replied that the USG wanted to make
the TIFA as effective as possible. He also noted that
President Bush’s Fast-Track Authority was scheduled to run
out in the summer of 2007. Charge noted that we would like
for the Philippines to move off of the Special 301 Watch List
for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) deficiencies as soon
as possible. A recent assessment team had reported some
positive news regarding respect for IPR in the Philippines,
but problems remain in obtaining convictions of violators, he
underscored.

Trafficking in Persons
———————-

¶5. (C) Arroyo conceded that enforcement remained a problem
for both IPR and human trafficking. Arroyo promised that TIP
would be an important issue on the agenda of her November 15
Cabinet meeting. DAS John urged immediate progress in TIP
prosecutions and convictions. He flagged that Ambassador
John Miller of G/TIP would visit the Philippines from
December 3-6 to discuss trafficking-related action with GRP
and NGO officials.

Burma
—–

¶6. (C) DAS John noted that President Bush and Secretary Rice
were both very interested in and personally committed to the
issue of democracy and human rights in Burma, noting the
President’s October 31 White House meeting with Burmese
activist Charm Tong as the most recent evidence of this
commitment. DAS John pointed out that the threat of
narcotics, disease, refugees, etc., emanating from Burma were
serious problems. Burma was an international problem and
required international cooperation, he emphasized. We would
like to compare notes with other countries in the region
about what is happening in Burma, so that a consensus could
be reached on how each country can contribute to promoting
democracy there.

¶7. (C) DAS John highlighted that the U.S. supported a
proposal that would lead to a briefing of the UN Security
Council on Burma’s human rights situation. We had approached
the GRP on the issue and we needed its support. Arroyo asked
how many votes there now were in support of such a discussion
at the UNSC. DAS John responded that he believed that it was
close and that Philippine support was crucial. Arroyo
reiterated her promise that the GRP would support the USG on
this matter, and noted that she looked forward to seeing
President Bush in Busan, Korea.

¶8. (U) Participants in the November 11, 2:30 P.M., meeting
at Malacanang Palace:

U.S.:
EAP DAS Eric G. John
Charge d’Affaires Paul W. Jones
Acting Political Counselor Joseph L. Novak
Political Officer Timothy Cipullo (Notetaker)

GRP:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo

SIPDIS
DFA Assistant Secretary Ariel Abadilla
Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Albert Del Rosario
DFA Americas Desk Officer Angelito Nayan

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

You can also access this site through the State
Department’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

Jones

   

 

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