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Arroyo seeks ‘stronger, stable’ US ties

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:05:00 11/05/2008

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo congratulated United States President-elect Barack Obama for his historic win, and expressed hope that relations between Manila and Washington would remain “strong and stable as ever.”

In a statement read by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita Wednesday, Arroyo also said that she was looking forward to working with Obama to address the concerns of Filipino World War II veterans seeking equal treatment with their American counterparts, as contained in a measure pending before the US Congress.

Arroyo tried to call Obama and his rival John McCain at the White House and the US State Department to personally deliver her messages but was unable to do so, Ermita said.

“On behalf of the Filipino nation and the Filipino people, I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on his election as the 44th President of the United States,” Arroyo said.

“We likewise note the making of history with the election of Senator Obama as the first African American president of the United States,” she said.

United States Ambassador Kristie Kenney went to Malacañang at 2 p.m. to personally inform Arroyo that Obama had won the election, Ermita said.

“With the next administration of the United States, bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States covering various aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life will remain strong and stable as ever,” Arroyo said.

“We look forward to closely working with Senator Obama in strengthening regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, as well as in addressing the concerns of our World War II veterans here and in the United States,” she said.

With Obama breaking racial barriers in politics, Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said: “Suddenly, many things seem possible to change [with] what is wrong in many parts of the world.”

Claudio said the Philippines could learn lessons from the most recent presidential campaign in the United States, less than two years before the 2010 elections.

“Our own democracy and electoral process can be enriched by the lessons, model, and example that the last US presidential contest can offer, particularly in terms of the primacy of issues and blueprints of governance, as well as the efficiency and integrity by which the electorate’s will is safeguarded,” he said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said the Arroyo government was looking forward to having “greater cooperation” with Obama’s administration.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-11-05T09:28:54+00:00UTC11bUTCWed, 05 Nov 2008 09:28:54 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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