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10/02/2009: Ambassador Gaa Clarifies Inquirer Report on US Military Aid Conditions on the Philippines

10 February 2009 – Responding to a Philippine Daily Inquirer news article concerning the failure of the Philippines to meet military aid conditions set by the U.S. government, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa said, “I would like to stress that the U.S. government has not made any statement that the Philippine government had failed to meet any of the three conditions earlier set by the U.S. government on its military assistance to the Philippines. The Inquirer article is merely stating the opinion of some organizations who are of the opinion that the Philippines had not met the conditions and are lobbying to have the U.S. Congress cut off security and defense assistance to our country.”

“In fact, if we take a close look at the U.S. Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2008, the State Department acknowledged the Philippine government’s intensified efforts to resolve extra-judicial killing cases and promote the rule of law. On the legislative side, U.S. Senator Inouye, who is the current chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in his letter to President Arroyo acknowledged the progress made by the Philippine Government that has led to a drastic decrease in incidents of extra-judicial killings. This issue has been very important for both our governments and we have maintained close engagement with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Congress, particularly in ways by which our two countries can cooperate to effectively address this issue.” Ambassador Gaa added. END.