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the obama-arroyo meeting: arroyo says obama “cordial, warm, welcoming”; obama says “i’m sure she thinks i’m much younger than she expected”. huh?

July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Pool was ushered into the Oval Office about 3:45 p.m. for statements by Obama and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines. The two leaders sat on flanking chairs in front of the fireplace.

 Obama praised Arroyo for her efforts to fight terrorism, and her help in dealing with the problems of Burma and North Korea. He noted the Philippines is hosting a conference next year on nuclear non-proliferation. “We’re going to have a busy agenda together,” Obama said.

He said the Philippines is a small country, but, to use a boxing metaphor, it “punches above its weight in the international arena.”

Arroyo thanked the U.S. for its “soft power” in helping the Philippines build roads, schools, and bridges. She said her country backs U.S. efforts in Burma and North Korea. Praised Obama’s plans to battle global warming, which threatens “disaster for our country.” She thanked Obama for his “new engagement in our part of the world.”

A Philippine journalist asked each leader his or her impression of the other. Arroyo called Obama “cordial, warm, and welcoming.”

Obama joked, “I’m sure she thinks I’m much younger looking than she expected.”

David Jackson
USA TODAY

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/07/68495803/1

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read other reports on obama-aroyo meeting:

obama-arroyo meeting: talks can touch on arroyo’s legacy (patay tayo dyan!)

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment

obama being elected as the first black president has made history in the US in a most major way. his taking on the presidency has inspired not only the whole nation of the america  but also many other countries around the world.

arroyo is the president of the philippines, a third world country where even her countrymen do not see favor in her. arroyo’s performance ratings have been on the negative quarter to quarter for many years based on nationwide surveys. her trust ratings has gone through the same dismal performance.

arroyo has violated the constitution a few times. election cheating has been a lingering issue that continue to be an open wound  where no closure has been achieved either way. allegations of corruption have been hurled a few times over  many years.

and the latest one is the unsaid plans of arroyo after 2010 – will she step down from power and transfer it to the next elected president of the country? arroyo would have laid that one ot rest in her last SONA but chose to pussyfoot on it.

if obama touches on arroyo’s legacy will be touched on as the State Department executive has said – what will obama say? what will arroyo say?

will arroyo whip up a powerpoint presentation too?

 

US STATE DEPT EXEC SAYS

Talks with Obama could touch on Arroyo legacy

By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr

WASHINGTON – The talks between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and US President Barack Obama have no fixed agenda and could touch on Ms Arroyo’s “legacy” when she leaves office next year, an official of the US Department of State said on Wednesday.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20090730-217904/Talks-with-Obama-could-touch-on-Arroyo-legacy

Mr. Obama – please read this letter re: Obama-Arroyo Meeting

July 30, 2009 2 comments

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

July 29, 2009

HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Washington District of Columbia
United States of America

Dear Mr. President,

We shared the wonderful jubilation of the American people during your historic election triumph. When you assumed office early this year, we rejoiced at the audacious hope that you inspired, and on your promise of change for the common good.

We joined all freedom loving people of the world who exulted when you declraed that “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent…are on the wrong side of history.”

The Filipino People share the same morals, ideals and aspirations that define the envied way of life of the American people. Filipinos yearn for the same kind of leaders that the American people yearn for themselves; leaders who are imbued with the right values, lead principled lives, and govern with the highest ethical standards. The ideals of justice, democracy and the upliftment of human rights animate the Filipino people’s dreams of a better world in much the same way that these ideals animate the dreams of the American people.

Upon your invitation, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will have the chance to meet with you on July 30, 2009. In your meeting with Ms. Arroyo, it may serve you well to be mindful of Ms. Arroyo’s legacy of corruption, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, bribery, election cheating, among others. We do not wish to belabor you with the details of these high crimes which have surely been documented and reported by the U.S. State Department to your office.

The Filipino People also yearn for change from the effrontery of hopelessness and the curse of decadence that Ms. Arroyo represents. In your meeting with Mrs. Arroyo, we feel confident that you will make clear to her that a Government that does not comply with Principles of Democracy and respect for Human Rights cannot have the approval and support of your administration. We implore you Mr. President to inspire hope and be an instrument of change for the common good of the long suffering Filipino People.

Signed,

Teofisto Guingona Jr., former Senate Presidents Jovito Salonga and Franklin Drilon, former SC justice Camilo D. Quiason, former senators Wigberto Tanada, Sergio Osmena III, Vicente Paterno Jr., Agapito “Butch” Aquino, and former secretaries Josefina T. Lichauco, former solicitor-general Frank Chavez, Corazon Soliman, Juan Santos, Jejomar Binay, and Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, Atty. Harry Roque and Jun Lozada.

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please post in your own blogs

Prayer Vigil In Washington DC on July 30 for the obama-arroyo meeting

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

received from wawam twitter account:

pray for the philippines

Pray for the Philippines

President Barack Obama will host a visit from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines this week.

Recognizing the human rights abuses that have occurred in the Philippines in recent years, a Prayer Vigil (PDF) will take place in Washington, DC on July 30, 2009 at noon.The Presbyterian Washington Office is among the sponsors of the vigil.

If you cannot come to Washington at that time, consider organizing a prayer vigil where you are.

If you cannot organize a vigil, consider praying on your own that justice and peace will be attained in the Philippines.

If you cannot pray on July 30, pray on another day. Pray every day.

http://presbyterian.typepad.com/peacemaking/2009/07/pray-for-the-philippines.html

Arroyo-Obama Meeting – first visit by an southeast asian leader a mistake says Washington Times. Political cover for troubled Arroyo administration.

July 26, 2009 1 comment

The Washington Times

Sunday, July 26, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama the sanitizer

Somebody at the National Security Council dropped the ball. On Thursday, President Obama is welcoming Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the White House for his presidency’s first visit by a Southeast Asian leader. The choice of Mrs. Arroyo for this honor was a mistake because Mr. Obama is being used to give political cover for the Philippine president’s troubles back home.

Mrs. Arroyo’s domestic political position is precarious. A poll released June 8 by the Pulse Asia polling firm pegged Mrs. Arroyo’s public approval at only 26 percent. Street demonstrations against her are routine and growing in size. These protests are in response to a dubious mandate following a dirty 2004 election and numerous allegations of corruption against her family and administration. Her husband, Mike Arroyo, has left the country and used doctors’ notes to say he is too ill to obey court summons related to corruption charges.

The Philippines has become less free during Mrs. Arroyo’s 10-year presidency. According to Freedom House, “Corruption is extensive throughout the Philippine state apparatus, from the lowest to the highest levels. Bribes and extortion seem to be a regular element of the complex connections among bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen, the press and the public.” In Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, the Philippines ranked 141st out of 180 nations on a list in which No. 1 is the least corrupt. The level of Philippine corruption is tied with Iran and Yemen and worse than in dodgy places such as Libya and Nigeria.

The corruption problem is affecting Manila’s relationship with other allies. A senior Philippine official told The Washington Times that German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent Mrs. Arroyo an ultimatum last month that Berlin-Manila ties are at risk if the Philippines doesn’t pay $60 million owed to the German government for Manila’s new international airport. The Philippine government seized the airport and refused to pay a German company — which is partly owned by the German state — for its construction after revelations that the contract allegedly was laden with millions in bribes and kickbacks.

There are also serious human-rights abuses in the archipelago. According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, “The Philippines ranks sixth worldwide among countries that fail to prosecute cases of journalists killed for their work.” Between 1992 and 2008, at least 34 journalists were murdered in the Philippines; there were convictions in only three of these cases. Four more members of the press were killed this June alone. Opposition voices regularly disappear as well.

On top of all this are machinations by Mrs. Arroyo to cling to power by setting aside next May’s presidential election. The president and her allies are pushing to amend the Philippine constitution to change the current U.S.-style presidential system into a parliamentary system whereby Mrs. Arroyo could serve as prime minister. This would allow her to circumvent the presidential term limit which prevents her from staying in office. This move, incidentally, is similar to the strategy strongman Ferdinand Marcos used to stay in power after declaring martial law in 1972.

The relationship between Washington and Manila is an old and important one. After the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American war in 1898, the Philippine islands were a U.S. colony for half a century and have remained a close ally in the six decades since independence was granted in 1946. The current Visiting Forces Agreement between the two countries allows U.S. troops on Philippine soil to help in the war on terrorism and to assist the Philippines with its fight against Islamic insurrection in the southern islands.

But the nation should be differentiated from its lame-duck leader. Welcoming Mrs. Arroyo to the White House only validates her troubled rule.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/26/obama-the-sanitizer/print/

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