Oct 272014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07MANILA3449.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3449
2007-10-18 09:36
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2791
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3449 2910936
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 180936Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8621
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0232
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003449

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AARON COPE
STATE FOR IO/UNP PAUL WICKBURG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/17/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RP BM
SUBJECT: ENGAGING PHILIPPINES ON GAMBARI’S TRAVEL TO BURMA

REF: A. STATE 144434
¶B. MANILA 3443
¶C. MANILA 3418
¶D. MANILA 3393 AND PREVIOUS

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

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Ambassador continues to engage the
Philippine government and media on Burma, seeking every
opportunity to stress the importance of maintaining momentum
toward more concrete actions on democratization on the part
of the Burmese junta. Per reftel A, post discussed Burma
objectives with senior DFA leadership including Philippine
Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, who
departs Saturday for meetings in Burma. An influential
Philippine congressman reports that moves are afoot to draft
an inter-parliamentary recommendation, for consideration at
ASEAN meetings in November, calling for the suspension of
Burma from ASEAN. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) Ambassador on October 17 spoke with Finance Secretary
Margarito Teves prior to the Secretary’s travel to Washington
for IMF and World Bank meetings. The Ambassador urged Teves
to use his contacts with ASEAN colleagues to explore ways in
which the ministers could have an impact in pressuring Burma
toward greater dialogue with pro-democracy forces. Noting
that Teves would be meeting with Under Secretary Reuben
Jeffery both bilaterally and along with the ASEAN finance
ministers, she encouraged him to take the initiative in
pressing to seek ways that the Philippines — and ASEAN —
could further assist in international efforts on Burma.
Teves concurred, and noted that although the lack of
Philippines-Burma trade might limit his own country’s
influence with the Burmese regime, pressure from Singaporean
banks could have a significant effect.

¶3. (C) In a private October 18 breakfast meeting with Maria
Ressa, head of news and current affairs for ABS-CBN, the
Philippines’ largest television network, the Ambassador noted
the continuing high level of interest in events in Burma
among Philippine print and broadcast media, and averred that
the current attention focused on Burma afforded a unique
opportunity to press the regime for moves toward dialogue and
democracy. Ressa agreed, saying that Filipinos have great
empathy with the Burmese based on the Philippine martial law
experience. She said ratings were high for their TV segments
on Burma. Ressa said that ASEAN must undertake a greater
role in influencing Burma, or risk damage to its credibility.

¶4. (C) In an October 16 conversation with DCM, the Chairman
of the Philippine House of Representatives Committee on Human
Rights, Congressman Lorenzo Tanada, stated that he was
pressing for an ASEAN interparliamentary recommendation to
suspend Burma from ASEAN, to be considered and acted upon at
the ASEAN meetings in November. Tanada outlined that
representatives from ASEAN nations had talked recently while
attending Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meetings in Geneva,
and he indicated that parliamentarians from ASEAN Chair
Singapore were supportive of the concept.

¶5. (C) Per reftel A, we spoke October 18 with senior
Department of Foreign Affairs contacts, underscoring the
importance of UN Special Envoy Gambari’s arrival in Burma as
soon as possible, before the present momentum is lost, and
the necessity that Gambari be provided contact with a much
broader array of individuals and organizations beyond the
government’s control, including pro-democracy dissidents,
Buddhist clergy, and leaders of ethnic-separatist groups.
DFA Asia-Pacific Executive Director Hellen Barber reported
that she and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy
Enrique Manalo would be departing soon for Burma, where they
will meet early next week in Naypyidaw with Burmese Deputy
Foreign Minister U Kyaw Thu, and would press these points.
Barber and Manalo will return to Manila October 23 after
stopping over in Bangkok, and have promised a full readout of
the junta’s response to shared Philippine-U.S. views on the
crisis.
KENNEY

   

 

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