Obama assures direct US protection of the Philippines during last day of Asia visit

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Apr. 29, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – In an unairconditioned gymnasium filled with members of the U.S. troops, as well as Filipino World War II and their families at Fort Bonifacio in Manila, President Barack Obama announced America’s ironclad commitment to defend the Philippines.

He said, “I’m not going to give a long speech because it’s hot and people are in uniform. I hope you don’t mind me not wearing my jacket. I also want to make sure I have some time to shake some hands. I’m here in the Philippines to reaffirm the enduring alliance between our two countries.”

President Obama said that for more than 60 years, the U.S. and the Philippines have been bound by a mutual defense treaty.

He explained, “And this treaty means our two nations pledge, and I’m quoting – ‘Our common determination to defend themselves against external armed attacks so that no potential aggressor could be under that illusion that either of them stands alone.’ In other words, our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad. The United States will keep that commitment, because allies never stand alone.”

Although he did not specifically mention China in this regard, but he maintained that territorial disputes should be resolved peacefully.

President Obama remarked, “We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace, and have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected. We believe that international law must be upheld, that freedom of navigation must be preserved, that commerce must not be impeded.”

During his speech at Fort Bonifacio, President Obama also honored Filipino World War II veterans for their services.

Before flying back to America after his visit to the Philippines, he also paid tribute to the men and women in the U.S. troops deployed in Asia.

He concluded “To the Americans here, I’m never prouder being able to stand before you as your commander-in-chief. To our Filipino Armed Forces – thank you for being such an an ally. Together, you are helping to secure the prosperity and peace of both our nations. God bless you, God bless the Republic of the Philippines, God bless the United States of America, God bless the alliance between our great nations.”

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com fore more information.

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