From the Manila Standard Today (Aug 31): Obama set to visit PH in October Asian trip
United States President Barack Obama will visit the Southeast Asian region soon, possibly including the Philippines, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters on Friday.
Hagel made the announcement after his meeting with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang.
“I spoke with the President and he is very much looking forward to his trip to Southeast Asia, and I know that the White House is preparing for that and his meetings,” Hagel said.
“There is a lot to discuss…As much as I know, President Obama is looking forward to his upcoming visit.”
Hagel said he would leave it to the White House to announce the details of the visit.
So far, Obama’s confirmed trips to the region in October are as follows: to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bali, to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings in Brunei, and to the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Aquino will also be attending the Apec and Asean meetings.
Last year, after his re-election, Obama visited Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Hagel said he was happy to return to the Philippines. He has been visiting the Philippines since the late 1980s, when he was still a senator.
“I first learned about the Philippines when my father, who was here during World War II, spent some time in Clark Air Field. He was a radio operator, a tail gunner on a B-25, and had many, many pictures of his experience here,” Hagel said. “He loved the Filipino people; he loved this country.”
The gathering was attended by almost 1,500 women from different municipalities covered by SWC Ligawasan Provincial Committee.
The said activity was part of SWC program of strengthening women’s awareness on the issue of spiritual well-being of mankind. They invited personalities from the Committee on Information to provide updates on the current situation specifically with regards to the peace process between Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The chairperson of the committee reminded the participants that women needed to be prepared for the days ahead towards building the Bangsamoro Region. Another aleema shared her views on the essentials of sustainable networks that would benefit the organization (MILF).
Prof. Mike Abdula, steering committee member of Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) and also the chair of the training and education department of the Kalilintad Development Foundation, Inc. gave inputs and spoke on the current negotiation between GPH and MILF. After delving on the FAB’s four annexes, an open forum was moderated by Arman Armada, the head of secretariat of the Committee on Information, Central Committee. Nasrullah Muhammad, the HRDC point man to the MILF assisted Armada.
During the open forum, most of the questions raised addressed to the speakers concern provisions of the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB), the signed agreement between GPH-MILF in Malacanang Palace in Manila last October 15, 2012, a historic event witnessed by prominent national and international figures including President Benigno C. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Najib Razak .
Another woman participant expressed her apprehension on the snail-pace process in crafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) due to the unfinished annexes on power-sharing and normalization that is yet to be completed by the two peace panels. The BTC cannot work on the wholeness of the basic law unless the two remaining annexes are completed and signed by the panels. The Framework agreement and the four annexes will constitute the comprehensive compact that will be signed by the two peace panels.
Nasrullah Muhammad reminded the participants to do their part in the best way they can to realize the establishment of the must-awaited Bangsamoro new political entity by 2016.