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Clinton visits Philippines under questions of US military aid
In The Press Posted on November 11th, 2009.
You’ve probably heard of the Philippines recently because of one reason: typhoons. A series of storms hit the country in September and October. At one point 80 percent of Manila, a city of 11.5 million people, was under water. Nearly one thousand people were killed in the worst storms in forty years.
Well, today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting the country. It's part of a tour of Asia - she heads to Singapore tomorrow and joins Barack Obama on his first visit as President to China. Clinton met briefly with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The visit is intended to focus on humanitarian aid and recovery.
"I was saddened, as so many were in my country, over the loss of life in the recent storms and the flooding, and I want again to convey the sympathies of President Obama, of the Obama Administration and of the United States to the people of the Philippines. You have shown great resolve and resilience in the face of these calamities. I am proud that the United States has been your partner. As the Secretary said, we were very pleased that we could respond quickly with our military assets."
However, Clinton also renewed US commitment to military aid in the country. Right now, there are an estimated 600 US troops in the Philippines and the Obama administration has requested more than $650 million in military aid for 2010. The US Government calls the country an important ally in the fight against terrorism.
We’re joined now by Liza Maza. She is a representative for the Gabriela Party in the Philippine Congress. She's joining us by cell phone from Manila.