“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press... (Sec. 4, 1987 Philippine Constitution)”
BALI, Indonesia/18 November 2011 by Frencie Carreon–US President Barack Obama and Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘Noy’ Aquino formally opened the US-PH bilateral meeting this morning at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel here, where the two leaders are set to discuss a variety of issues that are at present crucial to both nations.
“This is an opportunity for us to discuss how we can further deepen that relationship; also, to discuss the topics of the East Asia Summit — issues like maritime security, nonproliferation [of nuclear weapons], disaster and humanitarian relief,” the US President said.
Obama, in his opening statement acknowledged the 60-year friendship of the US and the Philippines, which was earlier reaffirmed with the recent celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty.
“Obviously, the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Philippines is one that goes back for decades. We have a 60-year alliance that assures that we are looking out for each other when it comes to security. But more importantly, we have incredible person-to-person relations between our two countries,” he stressed.
The US president also cited Aquino’s programs for government reform, and the contribution of Filipino Americans based in the United States.
“I just want to commend President Aquino for his leadership, for his reform efforts,” Obama stated, acknowledging him to have “been an outstanding partner in a full range of multilateral issues. “
“Obviously, the contribution of Filipino Americans to the growth and prosperity of the United States has been incredibly important. And I think the Philippines obviously has benefited from their interaction with Americans on a whole range of issues. .. And I think that a relationship that’s already very strong can only become stronger as a consequence of our continued interaction.,” Obama added.
Expressing gratitude to the US leader, Aquino responded, “It’s true, we have one of the longest-running relationships, a strong base of shared values and history. And we look forward, in these turbulent times of ours, to really further strengthen our relationship.”
Today’s meeting between the two heads of state, not specified in the official ASEAN program of activities for this summit, came ahead of the ASEAN-US Summit which the Philippines and the US are jointly hosting, as well as of the ASEAN East Summit to which the United States and Russia are joining this year.
The bilateral meeting is held under tight security, behind closed doors. (Frencie Carreon, The PhilSouth Angle)
Comments are closed.