Oct 282014

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
2005-12-13 09:23
2011-08-30 01:44
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 005799



E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/2015

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

¶1. (C) Summary. U.S. Senator Christopher S. Bond,
accompanied by CDA Paul W. Jones, met with President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo on December 9. President Arroyo pledged
support for U.S. trade liberalization proposals at the WTO
Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong and for the U.S. efforts to
encourage reform in Burma. Regarding GRP efforts in the
Global War on Terror, President Arroyo indicated that U.S.
intelligence cooperation was the top tactical priority in the
GRP fight against terrorism in general and Jemaah Islamiah in
particular. She also spoke positively about the expanding
role of Chinese and South Korean direct investment in the
Philippines. End Summary.

GRP Support at WTO

¶2. (SBU) U.S. Senator Christopher Bond emphasized to
President Arroyo in a December 9 meeting, the importance
across a range of issues of the USG-GRP bilateral
relationship and of the GRP as a USG partner in international
and regional affairs. Regarding the upcoming WTO Ministerial
Meeting in Hong Kong, President Arroyo offered her
unequivocal support for the U.S. proposal on trade
liberalization and agricultural subsidies. Noting that
“everyone wants a resolution in Hong Kong,” the President
vowed to “support the United States all the way” on its
proposal, and said that “the EU will see that APEC supports
the U.S.”
Pressure on Burma

¶3. (C) President Arroyo also underscored the GRP’s support
for the U.S. position on Burma. She remarked that she had
personally assured President Bush of the GRP’s vote on Burma
in the UNSC when she spoke with him at the APEC meeting in
November. She said that the Philippines’ support for
bringing Burma to the UNSC had initially created problems
with ASEAN partners, since it was contrary to ASEAN policy,
and she expected to hear complaints from Burma at the ASEAN
Summit. Nevertheless, she went on, ASEAN would continue to
discuss democratization of Burma at its no-agenda working
dinners every time ASEAN meets. Senator Bond expressed the
USG’s appreciation for the GRP’s support and urged the GRP to
continue to encourage ASEAN to put pressure on Burma to move
toward democratization and the release of political prisoners.

Intelligence Operations and Terrorism

¶4. (C) Senator Bond noted that the chief purpose of his
visit was to observe intelligence-gathering operations
related to the Global War on Terror. He related that he had
met with Southcom Commander General Edilberto Adan in
Zamboanga and been impressed with what he had seen there.
President Arroyo stated that intelligence cooperation was
what was most important to the GRP right now. She added that
such cooperation is the top tactical priority in the fight
against terrorism, and especially against the Jemaah Islamiah
(JI), which she singled out as the chief terrorist threat to
the GRP. Senator Bond inquired about the status of the
proposed anti-terrorism legislation. The President replied
that the problem lay in the Senate, where there has been
strong disagreement about how to define terrorism. She
indicated that a definition would soon be put forth by
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile that would be acceptable to enough
senators to allow for eventual passage of the bill.

China and Foreign Direct Investment

¶5. (C) Senator Bond asked President Arroyo for her views on
China and China’s role in Southeast Asia. She commented that
U.S. designation of normal trading relations for China had
initially hurt the Philippines by drawing foreign direct
investment (FDI) away from the Philippines. She noted,
however, that the opening of China as a market for Filipino
goods has mitigated this loss. She claimed that the
Philippines was beginning to benefit from regional
diversification of FDI, as investors in China also looked to
Southeast Asian nations as sites for subsequent regional

¶6. (SBU) Citing concerns he had heard at an American Chamber
of Commerce lunch the previous day, Senator Bond noted that a
better environment for business, including a more responsive
judiciary and less concern over corruption, could help draw
more U.S. FDI to the Philippines. President Arroyo replied
that Chinese and South Korean FDI in the Philippines was
significant and increasing, especially in the mining
industry; she called attention to a potential $1 billion
Korean investment in a shipyard facility at to be located in
Subic, the site of the former U.S. naval base. Senator Bond
commented that the U.S. is looking for investment
opportunities in places with well-trained knowledge workers,
since it does not have the same need for raw materials as
China. President Arroyo indicated that the GRP was very
pleased with the U.S. call centers based in the Philippines,
and that she was looking forward to meeting with the US-ASEAN
Business Council at the ASEAN summit that opens December 12
in Malaysia.

¶7. (U) Participants in the December 9 meeting:

Senator Christopher S. Bond
Charge d’Affaires Paul W. Jones
Counselor for Regional Affairs Bruce Stewart
John Bartling, Staff Member, Office of Senator Bond
Louis Tucker, Staff Member, Senate Select Committee on
Political Officer John R. Groch (Notetaker)

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
National Security Advisor Norberto Gonzales
National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director General
Cesar Garcia
Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Rey
Deputy Presidential Assistant Sulpicio M. Confiado
Department of Foreign Affairs Americas Desk Officer Ma.
Josefina V. Ceballos

¶8. (U) Senator Bond did not have the opportunity to review
this cable.

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