Oct 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09MANILA718.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA718
2009-04-02 08:46
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO7366
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0718 0920846
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 020846Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3749
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 000718

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/01/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINE FOREIGN SECRETARY DISCUSSES ASEAN, BILATERAL EXERCISES WITH AMBASSADOR

REF: MANILA 610 AND PREVIOUS

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

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: In a wide-ranging conversation with Foreign
Secretary Alberto Romulo, Ambassador discussed upcoming
military exercises, ASEAN, high-profile extraditions, the
ongoing case of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, and
the ICRC hostage situation (septel). Romulo welcomed
upcoming bilateral and multilateral humanitarian military
exercises, and expressed confidence that ASEAN meetings to be
held soon in Thailand might help mitigate the effects of the
global financial crisis in Southeast Asia. He underscored
Philippine eagerness to extradite three Philippine former
policemen implicated in a widely publicized 2000 murder case,
and agreed with the Ambassador’s view that a rapid resolution
of the longrunning case of a U.S. Marine convicted in a
controversial rape case is important. END SUMMARY

¶2. (C) The Foreign Secretary first focused on upcoming
bilateral and multilateral humanitarian exercises. Referring
to the 25th annual Balikatan exercise set to begin April 16
in the Bicol region and northern Luzon, he expressed his
hopes that everything was in readiness, and that a carefully
planned liberty policy was in place to proactively head off
any untoward incidents. Romulo welcomed the May 4-8 ASEAN
Regional Forum Voluntary Demonstration Response (ARF-VDR),
which the Ambassador outlined in more detail, offering
assurances that the Embassy was fully engaged with a
Philippine interagency team to ensure that all preparations
were in order.

ASEAN FOCUS ON FINANCE
———————-

¶3. (C) Turning to the subject of upcoming ASEAN meetings in
Thailand, the Foreign Secretary outlined his plans to
accompany Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the
mid-April meetings, while lamenting ASEAN’s lack of
sensitivity to its sole Christian-majority member in
scheduling the meetings during Holy Week — including Easter
Sunday itself. Romulo related that he was closely following
developments in G-20 meetings in UK, and expressed hopes that
plans will move ahead for a proposed $120 billion ASEAN
equity fund, which member states will be able to draw on in
order to address liquidity problems brought on by the global
financial crisis. He reiterated that the Philippines would
welcome the presence of Secretary Clinton at a meeting to be
held in July for ASEAN foreign ministers, and said he hoped
the Secretary could visit Manila before or after the meetings
in Thailand.

DELAYED JUSTICE
—————

¶4. (C) The Ambassador emphasized the need for expeditious
action by the Appeals Court in the case of Lance Corporal
Daniel J. Smith, both in light of his accuser’s affidavit
questioning events the night of the incident (reftel) and
given that the Visiting Forces Agreement guarantees U.S.
personnel a prompt and speedy trial. Ambassador further
observed that the Philippine Constitution itself provides
that appeals court cases must be resolved within 12 months,
and Smith’s case had been pending for over 17 months. The
Foreign Secretary concurred with the Ambassador’s points,
noting that the time was at hand for this longstanding and
awkward issue to be resolved — now even more so in the wake
of the victim’s “clarification” of testimony that had led to
Smith’s conviction. He said that the Arroyo administration
understood the importance of resolving the case quickly and
offered that key government officials were actively engaged
in that pursuit.

PLUGGING LEAKS ON EXTRADITION LOGISTICS
—————————————

¶5. (C) Romulo expressed his government’s eagerness to carry
through with the extraditions of Glenn Dumlao, Cezar Mancao,
and Michael Ray Aquino, three former policemen implicated in
the high-profile 2000 murder of a public relations executive
and his driver. The Ambassador took the opportunity to
comment that leaks by the Philippine Department of Justice
regarding the extradition subjects’ travel itineraries and
other sensitive details were at the least unhelpful, and
could not only imperil progress on the cases in question, but
even jeopardize other bilateral judicial cooperation.
KENNEY

   

 

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