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30 April 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today paid tribute to a Filipino-American doctor who was among three Americans killed in Afghanistan last week, the Philippine Embassy said.

The Vice President conveyed his sympathy to the family of Dr. Jerry Umanos in a telephone conversation with the slain pediatrician’s 88-year-old father, shortly after he arrived in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

“On behalf of our kababayans back home in the Philippines and here in the United States, I would like to extend my profound condolences to your family over the loss of your son,” the Vice President told Romeo Umanos.

“Please comfort yourself with the thought that Dr. Umanos died doing what he loved best—to help improve the lives of the less fortunate,” the Vice President said.

Mr. Umanos expressed his deep appreciation to both the Vice President and Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. for reaching out to the family. “I am deeply touched and honored especially since our family has always been proud of our Filipino heritage,” said Umanos, a Florida resident who was originally from Agoo, La Union.

Mr. Umanos said the remains of the 58-year-old doctor, who was shot and killed after a security guard opened fire on him and two other Americans at a hospital run by a Christian charity in Afghanistan, will arrive in Chicago on Thursday.

Vice President Binay is in the US capital to keynote the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a prestigious Washington-based think-tank. His visit comes in the wake of the successful trip to the Philippines early this week of US President Barack Obama.

“In addition to Philippine-US relations, Vice President Binay is also expected to share the good news about the Philippines, particularly its economic transformation under the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino III, as well as share his views on a number of issues,” according to Ambassador Cuisia.

Aside from his CSIS engagement, the Vice President will also be meeting with business leaders and executives from top American corporations and will participate in roundtable discussions with the US-Philippines Society and the US-ASEAN Business Council. ###