Oct 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/02/08MANILA292.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MANILA292
2008-02-04 09:21
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO8619
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0292/01 0350921
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 040921Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9641
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000292

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP PREL PTER RP
SUBJECT: SENATORS INOUYE AND STEVENS RECEIVE WARM WELCOME FROM THE PHILIPPINES

REF: A. MANILA 123
¶B. MANILA 82

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: During a busy and productive January
17-19 visit to the Philippines, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI)
and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) met with Philippine President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who decorated Sen. Stevens with the
Order of the Golden Heart (an award previously bestowed on
Sen. Inouye). A January 17 reception at the Embassy in the
senators’ honor attracted an impressive cross-section of
Philippine society, including Philippine veterans of the
struggle for Bataan and Corregidor. On January 18, a trip to
Zamboanga afforded the senators the opportunity to review a
USAID-sponsored project to equip high school students with
computers, and a chance to visit U.S. troops, including
Hawaii National Guard personnel, of the Joint Special
Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P). END SUMMARY.

¶2. (U) Embassy Manila welcomed Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI)
and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) back to the Philippines for a
January 17-19 visit. The warm welcome the Filipinos offered
the senators reflected Inouye’s and Stevens’ longstanding
ties and many previous visits over decades. Senator Inouye
is especially remembered for his role in funding by the U.S.
Congress of humanitarian relief assistance for Philippine
victims of the 2006 super-typhoons Milenyo and Reming, as
well as being viewed as a champion of Philippine World War II
veterans by sponsoring the Veterans Equity Act to expand
benefits to Filipino soldiers who fought alongside American
forces in the Pacific. Senator Stevens is likewise
well-known in the Philippines as a leading advocate for
strengthening Philippine-U.S. bilateral defense cooperation,
and for his emphasis on the importance of U.S. support for
the Philippines in its efforts as a frontline ally in the
global fight against terrorism.

¶3. (U) Shortly after their January 17 arrival from South
Korea, codel Inouye joined the Ambassador and DCM for a
private, hour-long meeting with Philippine President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo at Malacanang Palace. President Arroyo
presented Senator Stevens with the Order of the Golden Heart
with the Rank of Grand Cross, in recognition of Sen. Stevens’
support of Philippine veterans in their fight for equality,
and for having rendered distinguished service and assistance
in the improvement of the conditions of the Filipino people.
Senator Inouye had received this honor during an August 2006
visit, in recognition of his leadership role with the
Veterans Equity Act. The Senators subsequently attended a
reception in their honor in the historic Chancery Ballroom;
the gala event was attended by such leaders as Secretary of
Defense Gilberto Teodoro, House Speaker Jose De Venecia,
Presidential Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Father James
Reuter, and a host of World War II veterans, including the
surviving defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.

¶4. (U) Codel Inouye traveled January 18 to Zamboanga City in
Mindanao, stopping first at the high school department of the
Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology
(ZSCMST) to recognize a computer center opened with USAID
support as a partnership project of the Computer Literacy and
Internet Connectivity (CLIC) program. Passing rows of
schoolchildren waving American and Filipino flags, the
senators entered a gymnasium packed with nearly 2,000
cheering students. The Ambassador thanked the crowd for the
cooperative spirit the school demonstrated, which she said
reflected the positive attitude spreading throughout
Mindanao. The Ambassador introduced the senators, who
praised the local community for its interfaith tolerance, and
thanked generations of Filipinos for supporting the struggle
for freedom from World War II to the present. Zamboanga
Mayor Celso Lobregat then welcomed the senators, heaping
praise on the U.S. contributions to the Philippines.

¶5. (SBU) The senators then traveled to Camp Navarro, where
the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P)
is headquartered. Ambassador and JSTOF-P Commander
introduced the senators to Philippine Armed Forces Lt. Gen.
Nelson Allaga, Commander of Western Mindanao Command, and his
top staff. The senators lunched in the mess hall with U.S.
troops, together with Ambassador and USAID Mission Director.
Senator Inouye talked with nearly a dozen Hawaii National
Guard troops, and Senator Stevens conferred with U.S. troops
from Alaska and visiting Philippine military officers and
troops. The JSOTF-P Commander, who had briefed the senators
on military and counter-terrorism issues on the flight down
to Zamboanga, led a roundtable discussion on these and other
topics with the senators, Ambassador, USAID staff, and key
JSOTF-P staff after lunch.

MANILA 00000292 002 OF 002

¶6. (U) Codel Inouye did not have the opportunity to clear
this cable before departing post.

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.
KENNEY

   

 

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