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Noy, Phl officials welcome Obama re-election

Aurea Calica - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino congratulated US President Barack Obama on his re-election yesterday.

Aquino cited Obama’s message of hope that had been embraced by the world four years ago when he first sought the US presidency.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino sent a letter to the US leader and wrote that the American people, in giving a new mandate to Obama, “have trusted him to stay the course, move them forward, and to continue harnessing the voices and ideas of the American people.”

Lacierda said Aquino recalled how four years ago, Obama’s message of hope resonated with the American people and the world, marking the beginning of the long road back for one of the world’s greatest countries.

Aquino also said that as a treaty ally and strategic partner, “the Philippines looks forward to deepening the cooperation” between the two countries under Obama’s second term.

“The President also wrote that in their encounters, it has been easy for the presidents of both nations to understand each other given the common set of aspirations they have for their respective peoples – inclusive growth and renewed prosperity,” Lacierda said.

“The President closed his letter by expressing best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Obama and their family, and to the American people,” he said.

The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), hailed the successful holding of the presidential elections in the US where Obama was reelected to a second term.

“The Philippines warmly welcomes the successful holding of the recent elections in the United States. The Philippines and the United States share common and deep democratic values, particularly the right of the people to freely choose their leaders,” the DFA said.

The DFA said Filipino-Americans had a high turnout in the US elections.

“We are particularly gladdened by the high voter turnout of Filipino-Americans and the increasingly active role they play in helping decide the future of the United States,” the DFA said.

“We look forward to continue working with the administration of President Obama in strengthening relations between our countries and in the promotion of peace and progress in our region and the world,” the DFA added.

Lawmakers also hailed Obama’s reelection.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Ralph Recto, Lito Lapid and Panfilo Lacson expressed confidence that the relationship of the Philippines with the US will remain strong as Obama serves his second term.

On the impact of Obama’s victory on Filipino immigrants, Recto said the US is “an aging society that needs the infusion of young workers.”

“The workers would be able to pay taxes for the retirement benefits of the old people... Whoever won, they will have to open up and allow more immigrants,” he said.

Lapid was also in a festive mood upon learning of Obama’s victory. “Congratulations,” he told reporters at the session hall.

Lapid said many Filipinos living in the US were for Obama’s reelection because of his support for immigrants.

He added the number of Filipino-Americans running for local posts in the US may have also helped Obama attain victory.

For his part, Lacson agreed the Democrats are kinder to immigrants.

“So that’s why our fellow countrymen in America are rejoicing (in Obama’s reelection),” he said.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led congressmen in congratulating Obama for his reelection.

Belmonte said Obama’s victory was “good for us.”

Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco said Obama’s “win is very good for the country as Democrats have always lynch-pinned its international policy on expansionism.”

“I expect thus the peso to appreciate faster and our economy – due to P-Noy’s transcending good governance – to positively take off,” Haresco said.

“We hope that the reelection of Obama will further enhance the Phl-US relations, particularly in the fields of economy and defense,” Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone added.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said Obama is “highly predictive and not a threat to world peace, unlike his opponent who is not clear on his foreign policy.”

“Obama uses soft diplomacy, relying mostly on persuasion in dealing with nations. The Philippines is comfortable with the Democratic party. We could expect much smoother relations with the US,” Castelo said.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara said, “The US has always been, historically, an ally and supporter, and with this new chapter of their nation’s history, we hope to be able to continue to work to strengthen our bonds of friendship and cooperation with them.”

The Liberal Party headed by Aquino also extended its congratulations to Obama and said his victory was a firm recognition of his leadership and competence in sustaining a stronger and more vibrant American economy.

“The fresh mandate bestowed upon him ensures as well the continuity of meaningful alliance” between the countries, the LP said in a statement.

The LP said it was confident that both Obama and Aquino would champion positive reforms to advance their people’s welfare and lead them to prosperity.

Malacañang earlier said it was expecting the Philippines’ defense cooperation and other aspects of its relationship with the US to remain the same after the elections.

 – Christina Mendez, Paolo Romero, Rainier Allan Ronda

ANG KASANGGA

AQUINO

AURORA REP

BEN EVARDONE

CHRISTINA MENDEZ

FILIPINO-AMERICANS

OBAMA

UNITED STATES

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