Obama to visit Philippines on October

United States (US) President Barack Obama will visit the Philippines next month, the White House said in a statement released early Saturday morning (Manila time). The administration of President Benigno Aquino III, through spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, confirmed Obama’s visit from October 11 to 12.

Before heading to the Philippines, Obama will visit three other Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia. Indonesia is hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. The White House said Obama and Aquino’s meeting will focus on “reaffirming the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between the two countries.”

The discussion about security issues is unsurprising given that it is US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who first hinted during a visit last month that Obama will come to the Philippines before attending the APEC event. The Obama administration noted that the Philippines is already the fifth Asian treaty ally that he has visited during his term.

George W Bush - Gloria Arroyo
Prior to Obama’s visit this October, George W. Bush is the last sitting American president to set foot in the Philippines (Credits: Wally Santana/AP)

The announcement of the visit was hailed by Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Cuisia. “The visit underscores the importance President Obama places on the enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines as well as his regard for President Aquino’s leadership,” he said in a press release.

“We are optimistic that in their discussions, President Aquino and President Obama will identify new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of defense and security, trade and investment and broader people to people ties,” the ambassador further noted.

This is Obama’s first visit to the Philippines. The last United States president to set foot in the Philippines is George W. Bush. He came to the country in October 2003, during the time of then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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