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Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

Last night, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel,  International Medical Corps President and CEO, Nancy Aossey, presented Hillary with the organization’s Global Champion Award.   Dedicated to providing first response in humanitarian crises the world over, teams stood at the ready to assist  following yesterday’s battering of the Philippines by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Former President Clinton,  obviously proud, accompanied her to the gala where we see her with Aossey, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Rob Friedman, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone,   Lenny Kravitz, and Martha Plimpton among others.

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Finalization of the Philippines – Moro Islamic Liberation Front Framework Agreement

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 7, 2012

The United States welcomes the announcement of the framework agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This agreement is a testament to the commitment of all sides for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the southern Philippines. The next steps will be to ensure that the framework agreement is fully implemented. We encourage all parties to work together to build peace, prosperity and greater opportunities for all the people of the Philippines.

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2+2 Meeting between the U.S. and the Philippines, posted with vodpod

Remarks With Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, and Philippines Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good afternoon. It is such a pleasure for me to welcome our colleagues from the Philippines, Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Gazmin. And I am always happy to welcome my longtime friend and colleague, Secretary Panetta.Today we held the first ever 2+2 meeting between the United States and the Philippines, a testament to our shared commitment to write a new chapter in the partnership between our two countries. With the growing security and economic importance of the Asia Pacific, the United States is actively working to strengthen our alliances, build new partnerships, and engage more systematically in the region’s multilateral institutions.

At the heart of this strategy is our effort to deepen and broaden our alliance with our friend and treaty ally, the Philippines. This alliance is rooted not just in a deep history of shared democratic values but in a wide range of mutual concerns. And today we had a chance to cover a number of them.

First we discussed our bilateral military cooperation. Our alliance has helped keep both of our countries secure for more than 60 years, and it has been a bulwark of peace and stability in Asia. Today the United States reaffirms our commitment and obligations under the mutual defense treaty.

We also discussed steps we are taking to ensure that our countries are fully capable of addressing both the challenges and the opportunities posed in the region in the 21st century. We need to continue working together to counter violent extremism, to work on addressing natural disasters, maritime security, and transnational crime.

We also discussed the evolving regional security situation. We both share deep concerns about the developments on the Korean Peninsula and events in the South China Sea, including recent tensions surrounding the Scarborough Shoal. In this context, the United States has been clear and consistent. While we do not take sides on the competing sovereignty claims to land features in the South China Sea, as a Pacific power we have a national interest in freedom of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, and the unimpeded, lawful commerce across our sea lanes. The United States supports a collaborative diplomatic process by all those involved for resolving the various disputes that they encounter. We oppose the threat or use of force by any party to advance its claims. And we will remain in close contact with our ally, the Philippines. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the foreign secretary as we approach the ASEAN Regional Forum in July.

Finally, we discussed the maturing economic relationship between our countries as well as our shared commitment to enhanced development, trade, and investment. We would like to see the Philippines join the Trans Pacific Partnership trade community. The foreign secretary raised the Philippines’ interest in seeking passage of the Save our Industries Act, and we have conveyed that message to the United States Congress. And of course, I complimented the Philippines and the Aquino government on the progress with our Partnership for Growth and the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact.

So once again, colleagues and friends, we appreciate your participating in this first ever 2+2, and we look forward to our future cooperation.

Secretary del Rosario.

SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. I am honored to be here. Today marks a milestone in the alliance and strategic partnership of the Philippines and the United States. For the first time, we held our 2+2 consultations at the ministerial level. Our consultations were timely. Discussions on key issues of common interest to us were conducted within the context of our respective domestic concerns as well as the challenges and opportunities which coexist in the Asia Pacific region. The 2+2 consultations paved the way for us to revisit the bilateral engagement between the Philippines and the United States. It opened an avenue for us to consider ways of fine-tuning our relations as we adapt to changing circumstances both in our region and the world at large. Thus, the focal points of our consultations were how best to keep our alliance relevant and responsive to each other’s needs.

We reaffirmed our shared obligations under our mutual defense treaty and underscored the necessity of ensuring that our alliance remains robust, agile, and responsive. We committed to jointly explore modalities by which the President could build a minimum credible defense posture and agreed to prioritize high-value and high-impact joint military exercises and training to meet our common objectives, including maritime security.

Moreover, we reaffirmed our common interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce and transit of peoples, as well as a rules-based multilateral, peaceful approach in resolving competing claims in maritime areas within the framework of international law, including UNCLOS.

In the field of economic and development cooperation, we agreed to accelerate the implementation of the Partnership for Growth, which aims to establish an inclusive growth path for the Philippines as well as the Millennium Challenge Compact to reduce poverty in our country.

The Philippines and the United States shall endeavor to increase bilateral trade and investment as well as tourism exchanges. We agreed to continue discussions on Philippine interest to eventually join the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. In the area of good governance, we shall promote the establishment of a national justice information system for the Philippines. We will also work to sustain our partnership in combating human trafficking.

In the multilateral arena, we both expressed support for efforts to increase cooperation in the ASEAN, in APEC, and in the East Asia Summit. Beyond doubt, the combined action of the Philippines and the U.S. in promoting converting interests and shared objectives would propel our alliance and strategic partnership towards a higher trajectory at a faster velocity.

Our just-concluded 2+2 consultations is the latest impetus in sustaining this positive momentum. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Secretary Panetta.

SECRETARY PANETTA: Good afternoon. I’d like to join Secretary Clinton in saying what a great pleasure it was to host Secretary del Rosario and Secretary Gazmin for one of the first 2 by 2 meetings here in Washington with the Philippines. I look forward to hosting Secretary Gazmin for dinner at the Pentagon this evening.

We had a very successful meeting today with our Filipino counterparts, and we discussed a number of ways our governments can work more closely together to strengthen the importance alliance that we have to deepen our engagements and to find shared solutions to the joint security goals that we share.
Our two nations have forged deep and abiding ties through shared sacrifice and common purpose. Seventy years ago this month, American and Filipino soldiers fought and bled together shoulder to shoulder during the opening battles of World War II at Corregidor and Bataan. Through dark days, and many of those dark days fought together, our forces joined again in 1944 to begin the hard-fought battle to liberate the Philippines. We honor that legacy with our renewed commitment to this U.S.-Philippine alliance.

Ours is an alliance and a friendship built on historic ties, common democratic values, and a shared desire to provide our two peoples a prosperous and more secure future. I want to emphasize how deeply the U.S. values this great partnership and the importance of the Mutual Defense Treaty that remains the cornerstone of our security relationship. Working together, our forces successfully are countering terrorist groups in the southern Philippines. We are improving the Philippines maritime presence and capabilities with the transfer of a second high-endurance cutter this year. We are working to expand and improve joint ISR programs and our ability to counter cyber attacks. And I’m pleased to see the close cooperation being built between our forces through training and exercises such as the recently completed exercise Balikatan in 2012.

The new U.S. defense strategy that we rolled out earlier this year recognized that one of the important regions of the world that we must focus on and that America’s future security depends on is the Asia Pacific region. As a resident Pacific power, the United States is committed to a rule-based regional order that promotes viable and vibrant trade and the freedom of navigation. We are enhancing our defense cooperation and expanding security partnerships throughout the region in order to sustain peace and stability, and we are committed to continuing our robust, stabilizing presence in that region.

I look forward to sitting down later today with Secretary Gazmin to discuss, among other things, how we can deepen our engagement in ways that enhance this very important alliance and that promote our common vision of regional security in a very important Asia Pacific region. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Secretary Gazmin.

SECRETARY GAZMIN: Good afternoon. Today’s meeting was a manifestation of the mutual desire of the Philippines and the U.S. to further deepen our strategic partnership. After watching our alliance endure through the years, we deem it crucial to prepare for the security challenges of today and tomorrow.
This is why we decided to hold the first 2+2 meeting, to be able to exchange views on how to formulate adoptive and responsive strategic policies. We have reached a critical juncture in our alliance, where our concerns in both traditional and nontraditional aspects of our security have become much more intertwined. While we are sustaining the gains for successful efforts in various areas of cooperation, we need to intensify our mutual trust to uphold maritime security and the freedom of navigation and thereby contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
Meanwhile, the effects of natural disasters have become too disastrous and thus necessitate greater cooperation for expedient and effective response. We look forward to working together and consult one another on how to improve the capability to uphold maritime security and institutionalize efficient humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Keeping these two objectives in mind, we look forward in working as reliable allies that contribute to the peace and stability in the region. We are also mindful that our efforts to further our alliance need to be in full consideration of our respective national laws and political context.

Thank you and good afternoon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

MS. NULAND: We’ll take two from each side today. We’ll start with NBC, Andrea Mitchell.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, thank you. I know you can’t get into the specifics of the Chen Guangcheng case, but the whole world is watching. And already Mitt Romney has said that any serious U.S. policy towards China has to confront the facts of the lack of political freedoms and other human rights abuses. So can we be sure that your interests, America’s interests in these talks in strategic issues such as Iran and Syria and North Korea and trade will not take precedence over human rights? And what are your concerns about all the activists who have now gone missing and the fate of Mr. Chen’s family?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, I look forward to traveling to China this evening. We will be going to Beijing for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. We have a full range of issues that covers all of the political and economic matters that are of concern to our nations and our people. I’m not going to address the specific case at this time, but I just want to put it in a broader context.

The U.S.-China relationship is important. It’s important not only to President Obama and me, but it’s important to the people of the United States and the world, and we’ve worked hard to build an effective, constructive, comprehensive relationship that allows us to find ways to work together. Now a constructive relationship includes talking very frankly about those areas where we do not agree, including human rights. That is the spirit that is guiding me as I take off for Beijing tonight, and I can certainly guarantee that we will be discussing every matter, including human rights, that is pending between us.

QUESTION: And those people who have gone missing?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have nothing to add to what I’ve said at this time. I have a full agenda of many issues of great concern to us, including human rights and the freedom and free movement of people inside China who have a right to exercise those freedoms under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

MS. NULAND: Next question, Jose (inaudible).

QUESTION: Mr. del Rosario, the standoff at the Scarborough Shoal is into its fourth week now. Did you get an unequivocal assurance from the U.S. it will come to the aid of the Philippines if shots are fired? And what was the type or form?

Also, short of shots being fired, how do you see the endgame of Scarborough being played out if China cannot be persuaded diplomatically to withdraw its vessels from the area?

SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: Those are several questions rolled into one, my friend, but let me begin from your last question. We do have a three-track approach to endeavoring to solve the problem that we currently have with China in the Scarborough Shoal. It encompasses three tracks.

The first track is the political track. We are pursuing the ASEAN as a framework for a solution to this problem through a code of conduct that we are trying to put together and ultimately approve. Hopefully that will quiet the situation.

Secondly, we are pursuing a legal track, and the legal track involves our pursuing a dispute settlement mechanism under UNCLOS. There are five of them. We think that we can avail of one or two of those mechanisms, even without the presence of China.

Thirdly, we are pursuing a diplomatic approach, such as the one that we are undertaking, which is to have consultations with China in an attempt to defuse the situation.

In terms of U.S. commitment, I think the U.S. has been very clear that they do not get involved in territorial disputes, but that they are firm in terms of taking a position for a – towards a peaceful settlement of the disputes in the South China Sea towards a multilateral approach and towards the use of a rules-based regime in accordance with international law, specifically UNCLOS. They have expressed that they will honor their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty.

MS. NULAND: Next, Cami McCormick from CBS News.

QUESTION: Secretary Panetta, this is for you. White House Counterterrorism official John Brennan today spoke openly for the first time about drones. He said the – President Obama wanted more transparency on this issue and more openness. As former CIA director and now Defense Secretary, I’m wondering, is there some national security benefit to talking about this now? Why was the decision made? And what are your thoughts on it?

SECRETARY PANETTA: I’m going to let the speech speak for itself. All I’ll say is that this country has engaged in a number of operations, both covert and overt, to go after al-Qaida and our terrorist allies – or their terrorist allies. And we have been very successful at weakening al-Qaida as a result of that. This is a group that attacked this country on 9/11, and we have made clear that we are going to do everything we can to defend this country, using every means possible. And the means we use are those that we feel are most effective to go after al-Qaida.

MS. NULAND: The last question today, (inaudible) Times.

QUESTION: My question is for Secretary Gazmin. Secretary, in light of the current Chinese-Philippines standoff in Scarborough Shoal, what kind of assistance have you asked to bolster Manila’s ability to patrol its waters and to deter what you call intrusions?

SECRETARY GAZMIN: Thank you for the question. The assistance we have sought is to help us bring the case to international legal bodies, so that the approach is the legal rules-based approach in resolving the issue in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

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I am concerned about our friends Normita and Maria, both of whom are in the Philippines at the moment as far as I know.

Flooding in the Philippines

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 17, 2011

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to send my deepest condolences for the devastation and loss of life caused by flooding from Tropical Storm Washi in southern Philippines. The U.S. government stands ready to assist Philippine authorities as they respond to this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected.

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Seriously,  we need to start a Museum/Library for her in Seneca Falls.  She needs a place to park all of these awards where we can visit, and it has to be in Seneca Falls!

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Presentation of the Order of Lakandula, Signing of the Partnership for Growth and Joint Press Availability with Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Manila, Philippines
November 16, 2011

MODERATOR: Please be seated. We will now proceed to the conferment of the award. Be it known to all men by these (inaudible) that I, Benigno S. Aquino III, president of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, have caused to be inscribed in the roster of the Order of Lakandula the name of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, United States of America, with the rank of Bayani, done in the City of Manila the 16thday of November in the year of our Lord 2011.(The award was conferred.)

(Applause.)

MODERATOR: We will now proceed to the signing of the Joint Statement of Intent on the Partnership for Growth between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America.

The Partnership for Growth aligns both governments’ strategic efforts towards inclusive Philippine economic growth. This partnership will enhance the Philippine Government’s capability to: first, foster a more competitive business environment; second, strengthen the rule of law and increase efficiency in courts; and lastly, support fiscal stability. This five-year program is a signature initiative of President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development. Fifteen U.S. agencies are actively engaged with the Philippine Government in this new joint effort. The Partnership for Growth anticipates producing a transformative impact on the Philippines and unleashing the country’s potential for broad-based and sustained economic growth. (Applause.)

(The joint statement was signed.)

(Applause.)

MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the signing ceremony. We will now proceed to the press opportunity. Secretary Clinton will now deliver her statement.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, and let me begin by expressing what a personal pleasure it is for me to be back here in Manila. I want to thank President Aquino and Foreign Secretary Del Rosario for extending such a warm welcome and also extend my appreciation to all of the officials of the Government of the Philippines. And I am grateful to all of you and to the people of the Philippines for the Order of Lakandula. This is an honor that I will always treasure.

And on behalf of the American people and President Obama, I bring greetings and well wishes. For 60 years now, the alliance between the Philippines and the United States has helped keep our nations secure. And thanks to that security, both nations have made progress on many fronts. We have strengthened our democracies, developed our economies, and certainly built strong ties among our peoples. We have also helped provide stability and security throughout the Asia Pacific.

And so we do have a lot to be grateful for and proud of during this anniversary year. But it’s not about looking toward the past. This is about how we face the future together. And we know that we can count on the alliance to continue to keep us safe and growing stronger.

During the past year, our nations have embarked on a campaign of increasingly active diplomacy. In January, we inaugurated the first U.S.-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue here in Manila. In June, I had the pleasure of welcoming the foreign secretary to Washington. And Secretary Panetta and I are looking forward to welcoming Secretary Del Rosario and Defense Secretary Gazmin to Washington early next year for a joint meeting in the 2+2 format, making it the first time all four secretaries will sit down together to take a comprehensive look at our partnership. Our meeting in Washington in January will be quite a bit cooler weather-wise, but I hope just as warm personally as the one here in Manila.

My visit today is part of this reinvigorated diplomacy. Earlier on the deck of the USS Fitzgerald in Manila Bay, the foreign secretary and I signed the Manila Declaration. And just now, he and I officially launched the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth, a rigorous, results-oriented collaboration to help the Philippines break into the ranks of the world’s high-performing emerging economies and achieve sustainable, broad-based growth that will benefit all of the people of this country. Leaders here have worked hard to lay the groundwork for this kind of economic leap by making reforms to improve transparency and tax collection and to create more inclusive prosperity.

The United States wants to support these pro-growth reforms and help unlock the Philippines vast economic potential to improve the lives of your own people, to drive regional prosperity, and to create more high-paying jobs so fewer Filipino citizens have to travel to distant countries to support their families.

Through the Partnership for Growth, a team from across the United States Government will work closely with partners in the Filipino Government to create a more transparent and predictable business environment, lower barriers to trade and strengthen the rule of law, as well as fighting corruption. Together we hope to deliver an array of benefits to the people, including more foreign investment to create new jobs, a more streamlined court system that can deliver justice and protect local businesses, better services, and more resources to fight poverty. Over time, these steps will better position the Philippines to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which we hope will dramatically increase trade and investment among the peoples of the Pacific.

In addition to our bilateral partnership, we are working in several regional forums. A few days ago we met in Hawaii for the APEC Leaders Meeting, and in a few days we will meet again in Bali for the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting. Our goal is to show demonstrably what we mean by a pivot to Asia, to strengthen the architecture of cooperation among the nations of the Pacific to address regional challenges, advance broad-based security, prosperity, democratic progress, and peace.

The United States looks to the Philippines and sees a trusted ally, a nation that shares our democratic values, and ancestral home for millions of Filipino Americans, an important trade and development partner, and may I add, a country with one of the highest Facebook penetration rates in the world. The Filipino people, like the American people, are eager to connect, to seize new opportunities, to have a voice in their own country and in global debates. And so let us work together to shape that shared future.

And I’ll end today with just a personal comment, some praise for a native son of the Philippines who is making headlines across the world. We know that the Pacman had another great victory. As I said in the last time I was in Manila, I am a major Pacman fan, and in the spirit of his sport and his success, let me say the United States will always be in the corner of the Philippines. We will always stand and fight with you to achieve the future we seek. (Applause.) Thank you all.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Secretary Del Rosario will now deliver his statement.

FOREIGN SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: Ladies and gentlemen, the year 2011 is a banner year for Philippines-U.S. relations. This year we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Philippines-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty as well as the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps and USAID in the Philippines. The event is marked no less than by the visit of Secretary Clinton, to be followed by the meeting between President Aquino and President Obama in Indonesia on the 18th of November.

These milestones and high-level meetings have tested the multifaceted engagement between the Philippines and the United States, making it one of the most durable and dynamic strategic partnerships in the whole world.

Secretary Clinton and I had very fruitful discussions on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues this morning. We exchanged views on how to employ the interlocking tools of development, diplomacy, and defense to weld a formidable, more focused, and efficient alliance that is results-oriented and forward-looking.

This morning we signed the Manila Declaration. It affirms the vigor of our alliance, especially at a time when the Philippines is facing challenges to its territorial integrity in the West Philippine Sea. As I mentioned earlier in the signing, a stronger, reliable Philippine defense in the West Philippine Sea upholds our common and shared interests to freedom of navigation, unimpeded commerce, and respect for international law.

The president also met with Secretary Clinton today and discussed areas where their priorities converge and how the Philippines and the U.S. can work in these areas together. We are charting the course of our relations by seizing vast opportunities to grow our economies, open by the fastest-growing region in the world, the Asia Pacific.

The Philippines and the U.S. blazed a trail in development-oriented collaboration in Asia. We jointly embark on a mission to win a sustainable and broad-based economic growth in our country through the Partnership for Growth. A stronger economy for the Philippines is a stronger ally for the United States and the region. We are committing ourselves in implementing policies that will catalyze a kind of economic growth that would have a perceptible impact on the lives of average Filipinos across the nation. By unlocking the Philippines’ potential for economic growth, the Partner for Growth will boost the Aquino administration’s drive to unleash our country’s capacity to create equal opportunities for everyone.

There is much reservoir of goodwill across both sides of the Pacific. I am confident that our partnership will gather more steam as our engagement intensifies in every front. I thank you. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Thank you, Secretary Del Rosario. Secretary Clinton and Secretary Del Rosario will now take two questions from members of the press. The first will be from Mr. Paul Eckert of Reuters.

QUESTION: Thank you. Good afternoon. Paul Eckert of Reuters News Agency. For both officials, the development yesterday down in Bali where the ASEAN nations were unable to agree on a united stand on the South China Sea, for Secretary Clinton, how does that complicate your work going forward on this issue going into Bali and beyond? And more broadly, all countries sort of wrestle with the economic appeal of China and how to tap that, along with coping with some of the policies that may be less palatable or even threatening, depending on where you sit. So I’d welcome a broader philosophical comment from either official on the second part of that question. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Paul, let me start. First of all, we believe that the United States participation for the first time in the East Asia Summit as well as our third U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting sends a very strong message of what our level of commitment is to this region and to the many issues that we confront. And we will certainly expect and participate in a very open, frank discussion of maritime security challenges in the region and how to address them cooperatively. President Obama will reaffirm our national interest in the maintenance of peace and security in the region and internationally, and that includes freedom of navigation, overflight, respect for international law, the rule of law, unimpeded lawful commerce across the region’s maritime domain. And we further seek to see the Law of the Sea used as the overriding framework for handling territorial disputes.

So we expect that there will be such a frank discussion. We have been heartened by the strong response by a number of the countries that are part of ASEAN and part of the broader East Asia Summit. And we think this probably will require leader-level discussions, and we look forward to those occurring in Bali.

FOREIGN SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO: On the discussions of – about the South China Sea, as far as we know it in the Philippines the West Philippine Sea, we obviously have three concerns regarding that issue. The first concern is we are – like many other nations, we share the importance of freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce. That’s one. Secondly, we are in a territorial dispute issue. That’s the second. And third is we have a particular interest in the West Philippine Sea and the commerce there because of the number of seafarers that we have in the Philippines. As you know, 25 percent of the seafarers of the entire universe are Filipinos.

We do have – if you – we do have a territorial dispute and we are – like other nations who are of interest in the issue, we do have an interest in providing a solution in accordance with the rule of law. Essentially, we’re talking about – or specifically UNCLOS. We are looking for a peaceful resolution to the issue. We are looking for a multilateral approach considering that there are many claimants involved. And we also are looking for an observance of the Declaration of Conduct that’s in place.

We are – that’s – we’re commonly embracing those facets of interest and behavior, but we think that we – the Philippines has contributed significantly to the issue by its introduction of an actionable framework. It’s known as ZoPFFC. It stands for Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Cooperation. It is a actionable framework that we have contrived that will address the segregation of disputed versus the undisputed areas so that the disputed areas can be used for joint development purposes.

As you may know, we had pushed this and we were actually requested by ASEAN to get together and to assemble a maritime legal forum (inaudible) the Philippines. And unfortunately, from the very beginning, we did not have a consensus because only eight of the ten countries came to the table to assist us in vetting this initiative.

But nevertheless, we completed the results of that forum, of that vetting. And as you probably have heard, we were successful in terms of being able to establish a consistency between the actionable framework that we were introducing to that of the DOC and we also have established a relevance of the framework as well to UNCLOS. This, of course, was brought up to the foreign ministers meeting in Bali that’s being held at this time. And I understand that it was referred for further study. We are – we considered that we have not been defeated, that we did do our part in terms of being proactive, in terms of introducing what we felt would be a way to be able to conclude an application of the rule of law to the issue.

But the Philippines itself is – if I may go further with your permission, Madam Secretary, we’re interested in being able to validate our claim. And by this, we hope to be able to go to a dispute settlement forum which is provided by UNCLOS. And there we have five choices. One is ITLOS. The other is ICJ. And then there’s a third and a fourth, which are forms of arbitration. And there’s a fifth, which is a compulsory conciliation. The first and the second require that we approach the forum with the other party, which in this case would be China, but I think China hesitates to do this with us. So we will, in all likelihood, proceed to the fifth mechanism and be able to secure a validation of our claim from that particular mechanism.

MODERATOR: And the last question for today will come from Mr. Willard Cheng of ABS-CBN.

QUESTION: Good afternoon. Pardon my very long question, Madam Secretary. The United States is known for its strong advocacy for human rights, transparency, and accountability. I wonder what are your thoughts about the refusal of the Aquino administration to allow former President Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad. And having personally known her, are you concerned about the state of health of the former president?

And secondly, Madam Secretary, the United States in recent days has made known its plans to expand and diversify its maritime presence in Asia and the Pacific. What will be the role of the Philippines in these plans? And to what extent will the United States be involved in the disputed Spratlys? And can you elaborate more in your statement that the United States will remain in the corner of the Philippines, and will you support the quest of the Philippines to validate its territorial claims in international arbitration bodies? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as to the first question, this is obviously a matter for the authorities of the Philippine Government and all of its branches, and it would not be appropriate for me as a Secretary of State to comment any further.

We are strongly of the opinion that the disputes that the foreign secretary referred to that exist primarily in the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines and China should be resolved peacefully. The United States does not take a position on any territorial claim, because any nation with a claim has a right to assert it, but they do not have a right to pursue it through intimidation or coercion. They should be following international law, the rule of law, the UN Convention on Law of the Seas, UNCLOS that the foreign secretary has referred to. There are mechanisms within it, as he has just enumerated, for the resolution of disputes. And we stand for the rule of law and we stand for international norms and standards, which is why we support the peaceful resolution.

At the same time, we recognize that our long mutual defense treaty and alliance relationship with the Philippines has to be updated and brought into the 21st century, and that will require working with the Philippines to provide greater support for external defense, particularly maritime domain awareness, defense of one’s maritime boundaries. And we’ve begun some intensive consultations between our two governments to determine exactly what the specifics of such an approach would be, which is why we will be continuing those consultations.

Then in January, the defense secretaries and foreign secretaries will meet in the first-ever 2+2 context. We do this with Japan; we do it with Korea; we do it with Australia. We’re doing it now with the Philippines in Washington. We also are looking forward to President Obama welcoming President Aquino to the White House, to the Oval Office, sometime early in the next year, because we have a lot of work to do. And we want to be very sensitive to the requests and needs of the Government of the Philippines, and we want to make it clear that our military relationship, like every other aspect of our relationship, is one based on mutual respect and mutual interest. And we think that the time has come for us to look at how we can update our military relationship moving into the future, knowing that there are new challenges and new opportunities for us to be working together.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Thank you, Secretary Del Rosario. That concludes our press opportunity for today. (Applause.)

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Remarks At A Luncheon Hosted by President Benigno Aquino

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Manila, Philippines
November 16, 2011

PRESIDENT AQUINO: Today we confer upon the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Order of Lakandula, one of the highest honors that can be (inaudible). For deepening and broadening the engagement between United States and the Philippines (inaudible). One of cornerstones our engagement is the Mutual Defense Treaty between our two countries. Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary (inaudible).

Let me also take this occasion to launch our new Partnership for Growth (inaudible). The Partnership for Growth is a new framework for strengthening our economic engagement to promote and support broad base economic growth. These are (inaudible) the relationships between our two countries. Your visit shows us that alliance between the United States and Philippines (inaudible) that this bond (inaudible). Our countries enjoy a friendship forged by shared history, goodwill and (inaudible). The Pacific may separate our countries, but the words and deeds of the past provide us with a bridge that is able to reach across the vast ocean.

With this, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to propose a toast to Secretary Hillary Clinton may (inaudible) stronger relationship (inaudible) United States (inaudible) cooperation (inaudible) mutual benefit and the sincere desire to work for our people (inaudible) American (inaudible) between our two countries as we work to institute lasting and inclusive progress in our two nations (inaudible) as we say in the Philippines (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for that warm welcome. We are so honored to be here for many reasons. Yes, it is the 60th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty that has demonstrated for all to see the strong bonds of solidarity and partnership between our two nations. Yes, it is the 50th anniversary of USAID and the Peace Corps. Both organizations have been partners with Filipino people for those decades. Yes, we did have the opportunity today to renew our bonds in a very tangible manner, first on the deck of the USS Fitzgerald with the signing of the Manila Declaration, and just now with the signing of the Partnership for Growth. Because this relationship is about the future. It certainly honors the past and all that we have done together, but it looks forward and it is about the strong ties between our peoples, because we know that governments and public officials, political leaders exist to support the better lives and futures of the people they serve. And you, Mr. President, and your family have exemplified that principle.

So it is for all of the reasons of the ties, of partnerships, solidarity, cooperation, familial affection between us, that I propose a toast: To the president and to all who serve with him, on behalf of a better future for the children and the next generation, to the bonds between our two countries, and particularly the strong personal relationships that go beyond governments, go beyond treaties and declarations, between the people of the United States and the people of the Philippines, may God bless our common endeavors.

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US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty

Remarks Aboard USS Fitzgerald Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Manila, Philippines
November 16, 2011

Thank you very much, and it is indeed an honor for me to be in Manila to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty and it is wonderful to be onboard the USS Fitzgerald, a fine ship with a dedicated crew under the leadership of Commander Mutty. If only we were underway. And I thank you greatly for hosting us today.I want to acknowledge Secretary Del Rosario, with whom I am working very closely, Secretary Gazmin as well, and all those who are representing the Government of the Philippines. But we also acknowledge General Oban, Vice Admiral Pama, Admiral (inaudible), and Brigadier Bautista, Lieutenant General Rabena, and Mayor Lim, the mayor of Manila.

On the United States side, we have a very distinguished delegation. I think it’s fair to say that this combination of representatives from the State Department and the Defense Department symbolizes the strength not only of the past but even more importantly our future together.

It is a special honor also for me to meet anywhere with U.S. servicemen and women, and I say thank you on behalf of all Americans. You protect us faithfully and courageously, often from faraway cities or remote corners of the ocean. And it’s been a great honor of my life to be able to work with you to ensure that you’re given the support and treatment you deserve from a grateful nation.

As each of us can attest, our mutual defense treaty has provided for our common defense and helped to create cooperation between our countries, not only military cooperation but also political and economic, and not only between governments but most importantly between our people.

That summer day in 1951 when this treaty was signed, our nations faced a very different world. Then we were united against the spread of communism. Filipino and American soldiers had fought side by side in World War II not long before, and this treaty was a testament that we stood united against the challenges of a dangerous world. Our hope was that we could pursue the peace together. And that common devotion to peace has sustained our alliance through the years.

Well, today we meet in a new era where we face new challenges but also where we confront new opportunities. So we must ensure that this alliance remains strong, capable of delivering results for the people of the Philippines, the United States, and our neighbors throughout the Asia Pacific. We are now updating our alliance and all of our alliances in the region with three guidelines in mind. First, we are working to ensure that the core objectives of our alliances have the political support of our people. Second, we want our alliances to be nimble, adaptive, flexible so they can continue to deliver results in this new world. And third, we are making sure that our collective defense capabilities and communications infrastructure are operationally and materially capable of deterring provocation from the full spectrum of state and non-state actors.

To that end, the United States is working with our Filipino allies to ensure that we can meet threats like proliferation and terrorism, and to support the Philippines particularly in the maritime domain as you move to improve your territorial defense and interdiction capabilities. In August, we transferred a Coast Guard cutter here, thanks to the escort that you provided, and we are together considering transferring a second one as well.

We are seeking to broaden and strengthen our partnership beyond defense. The Manila Declaration that we have just signed sets forth a shared vision for strategic, political, economic, and people-to-people cooperation. And later today, Secretary Del Rosario and I will sign a Statement of Principles for our Partnership for Growth to help the Philippines break into the ranks of the world’s high-performing economies. We are working together to increase trade and investment and to strengthen regional institutions like ASEAN, APEC, and the East Asia Summit. The United States-Philippines alliance has been a force for regional security for decades, and through our direct cooperation we are bringing that same spirit to regional forums as well.

As always, the foundation of what we do is really based on the ties connecting our peoples. The United States is home to more than four million Filipinos and Americans of Filipino descent, including several members of the crew of this ship. All told, Filipinos represent the second largest Asian American community in the United States, and we are proud and grateful for the invaluable contributions they make to our democracy, our economy, and our culture.

Looking back, there is much to celebrate, I agree, and we wish to make sure that both of our people understand the benefits that this relationship has brought, is bringing, and will provide for the future.

Now, consider this ship. The USS Fitzgerald has patrolled the entire Western Pacific region this year. It traveled to Australia, Russia, Guam, Saipan, the Marshall Islands, before docking here in Manila Bay. As part of Operation Tomodachi, the search, rescue, and recovery mission following the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan, the Fitzgerald operated closest to shore. And this summer, it transited the Gregorio del Pilar the flagship of the Filipino Navy on its maiden voyage across the Pacific. The ships cross-decked and held training sessions for 16 days on emergency response and onboard medical procedures. By the end of the exercise, the officers and crews onboard both vessels achieved new levels of proficiency and partnership.

That is just one example of the work we do every day together not only between our militaries and our governments, our diplomatic corps, but between our businesses, our universities, and our citizens. The vital ties between the Philippines and the United States are strong and growing stronger, and we must continue to invest in them to serve the interests and answer the concerns of the Filipino and American people, to maintain security and the conditions for progress, and to keep following the fruitful pursuits of peace. The United States remains committed to this goal, just as we are committed to our alliance. We are grateful for 60 years of partnership and the progress we have made together, and we look forward to many more years of working closely together on behalf of our two nations, our people, and the world. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Adding in this slideshow because … wait, wait, wait … she is not the Commander-in-Chief? Wow! Could have fooled me!

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