Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mass protest to welcome Obama visit

From the opposition Daily Tribune (Apr 25): Mass protest to welcome Obama visit

The government said enough security preparations are being made for the visit of US President Barack Obama on Monday as militant organizations threaten more protest action.

“We are preparing, as we will prepare (for) any visiting head of state. They are here as our guests, and as host, we will provide them the necessary security,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing in MalacaƱang yesterday.

Asked by reporters if the Palace worries about possible problems from these militant groups, Lacierda said the government expects mass actions from groups opposing President Obama’s visit to the country and is thus carrying out necessary security measures.

President Obama and President Aquino will be talking about defense, trade and security matters, the Palace official said.

“These are the three things that matter regarding our relations with the United States, so those things will be discussed,” he said.

The US leader, who arrived in Japan on Wednesday, is on a four-nation Asian tour to reassure allies of US commitment to the Asia Pacific.

The visit highlights the US’ “pivot to Asia,” as announced by the Obama administration a few years ago. It aims to counter growing Chinese influence in the region.

President Obama’s other stops will be South Korea and Malaysia.

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