Obama 'proud' to be in Philippines, thanks Pinoys for hospitality
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - April 28, 2014 - 5:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — United States President Barack Obama thanked the Philippines for welcoming him in his first official visit to the country.

"Benigno, I want to thank you and the Filipino people and not only for your generous hospitality today, but for a friendship that has spanned generations," Obama told the media and President Benigno Aquino III in a joint press conference this afternoon.

Obama said he is "proud" to be in the Philippines in the same year when the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Lingayen Gulf is being commemorated.

The US President pointed out that Filipino and American soldiers fought together in the said battle to liberate the Philippines during the Second World War.

"This is my first visit to the Philippines as President and I am proud to be here," Obama said.

"All these years later, we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder to uphold peace and security in the region and around the world," he added.

Obama said the Philippines, as a "vibrant democracy," reflects the desire of the citizens in the region to live in freedom and to have their universal rights upheld.

And as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, the Philippines also represents new opportunities for trade and investment that creates jobs, Obama added.

The American leader also praised the Philippine government for the Bangsamoro agreement. He said the country now has a "historic opportunity" to forge a lasting peace in the south where people could live with greater security and prosperity.

BANGSAMORO BATTLE OF THE LINGAYEN GULF BENIGNO FILIPINO AND AMERICAN OBAMA PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT AND I PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SECOND WORLD WAR UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
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