U.S. Envoy Vows Support To Philippine President Aquino

U.S. Envoy Vows Support To Philippine President Aquino

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 QUEZON CITY/WASHINGTON D.C. (PhilAmPress) - US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. met for the first time last week with President-Apparent Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and pledged to work closely with him.
The meeting place was the residence of the Aquinos at Times Street, Philamlife Homes Subdivision in Quezon City, where the future president said he will continue to reside.
Following Thomas' gesture, officials of other countries also offered congratulatory gestures also they are still awaiting the proclamation on or before June 30.
Thomas said the US government respects the country’s electoral process and wait for the Philippine Congress, acting as National Board of Canvassers, to formally proclaim the election results, expected to be the tandem of Aquino and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay as vice president.
After the proclamation, US President Barack Obama will issue an official statement on Aquino, said Thomas.
Earlier, the Embassy of the United States in Manila extended warm congratulations to the people of the Philippines for achieving another milestone in their nation’s democratic history with the May 10 elections.
"Philippine citizens served their nation by volunteering at the polls, exercising their right to vote, and taking every step necessary to ensure all ballots were counted. The Embassy was privileged to send 120 observers across the country to witness Philippine democracy in action. While there are always lessons to be learned, our overwhelming impression is that the Philippines has much to be proud of today," the embassy added.
"We look forward to a smooth transition and, after June 30, to working with the new Philippine government to deepen the friendship and partnership between our two nations, and to advance our common goals for the benefit of the Southeast Asia region and the world," the US embassy stated.
Interviewed by Filipino media after their meeting, Thomas said the US government is
looking forward to bolstering bilateral friendship and partnership with the Philippines through Aquino.
Thomas said the polls reflected the will of the Filipino people although "there were some bumps and bruises, but that is to be expected in any country. We have that in the United States."
Thomas was accompanied by other US officials during the visit. With Aquino during the hour-long meeting were Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas, Aquino's vice presidential candidate, and other leaders of the Liberal Party (LP).
Earlier in Washington D.C., a US government think thank said that Aquino and US President Barack Obama will have a chance to move bilateral relations a “notch higher.”
Director Walter Lohman of Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center made the statement to Filipino journalists during a luncheon at the Heritage Foundation’s offices near the Capitol Hill, said Nick Zahn, director of the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press, the largest organization of the Asian media in the US and affiliated with the foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

Lohman said that Aquino and Obama belong to the new breed of leaders and have things in common.

Aquino and Obama, he said, won clear mandates on the promise of change, which sparked tremendous popular support, particularly among young voters.

Lohman added that the two leaders are 50 years old and belong to the same new breed of leaders, which would make it easy for them to connect and foster the special relations between their two countries.

“Americans love [the late] President Cory Aquino,” said Lohman, one of the foremost Asia experts of the leading conservative think-tank in the US.

At his meeting with Aquino, the American envoy repeated the pronouncements on May 11--hours after initial results of the May 10 elections were announced --when the embassy was the first among foreign missions to give kudos to the Philippines for a generally smooth general elections .
US Embassy spokesperson Rebecca Thompson said that Thomas told Aquino that U.S. also wants "to advance common goals for Southeast Asia and the world.”
The visit of the American ambassador took place before Aquino is officially proclaimed the winner by the Joint Session of the Philippine Congress. With this awareness, Thompson said the “US respects the political process and will wait for the formal proclamation of elections results by Congress.”
Aquino has indicated that when he is installed at Malacanang, he would continue to live on Times Street at Philamlife Homes Subdivision in Quezon.
Television footage of the visit quoted Thomas as saying it was a mere visit to congratulate Aquino on his victory.
Thomas replaced Ambassador Kristie Kenney. He arrived in the Philippines and presented his credentials to President Arroyo in late April. 

Photocredit: PhilAmPress