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An American senator reiterated congressional support for the United States' obligations under a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines.
"When it comes to fulfilling our obligations and expanding our military cooperation under the Mutual Defense Treaty, America’s commitment is unshakable and Republicans and Democrats stand together with the Philippines," Senator John McCain said in his remarks as the guest of honor during the commemoration of the 114th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence in Washington, D.C last June 12.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States (U.S.) Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Mrs. Victoria J. Cuisia hosted the traditional vin d’honneur at the Four Seasons Hotel with close to 300 guests in attendance.
Those who attended included officials from the US government, congressional staffers, and members of the business community, representatives from think-tanks, non-governmental organizations and the academe, as well as leaders of the Filipino-American community.
Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell also attended the event.
In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia underscored the gains that have been achieved under the Aquino administration as a consequence of the President’s good governance agenda. He noted the resolve of the Philippine government in rooting out corruption, as reflected in the recent impeachment of the country’s Chief Justice.
The Ambassador also cited the flourishing ties between the Philippines and the US, which have been further strengthened as a result of President Aquino’s constructive and productive meeting with President Barack Obama at the Oval Office last June 8.
“Much of the credit in the renewed vitality (in Philippine-US relations) goes to President Aquino, who I had the pleasure of meeting in my visit to Manila last January and again during the President’s successful visit to Washington,” said Senator McCain.
“When it comes to enhancing the Philippines’ defense capabilities from increased maritime domain awareness to additional ships to help patrol the West Philippine Sea, Republicans and Democrats stand together with the Philippines," he added.
Senator McCain, the son and grandson of US Navy admirals, is a Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Representing Arizona, he is one of the most senior Republican Senators and was the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 US election.
Senator McCain recently signed up as co-sponsor of the SAVE Our Industries Act.
Earlier in the morning, the officers and staff of the Embassy held a flag-raising ceremony to kick-off the celebration of the country’s national day.
Corporate sponsorships from Smart Philippines, Philippine-American Life and General Insurance Company (Philam Life), International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), and Jollibee Foods Corporation made the event possible. InterAksyon.com