By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2017 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) -- Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, the Chargé d'Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., highlighted the
independent foreign policy pursued by President Rody Duterte during the celebration of 119th Philippine Independence on June 8.
Guided by paramount considerations such as national sovereignty and territorial integrity, national interest, national security, the right of self-determination and the protection and promotion of the welfare of the Filipino people, Mr. Chuasoto said the independence celebration could not come at a better time when the country is facing bright development prospects that are anchored on the comprehensive and inclusive policy agenda of President Duterte.
US DEPUTY ASSISTANT Secretary of State W. Patrick Murphy (from left); US Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense David Helvey; US Undersecretary of Defense Theresa Whelan; US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, Jr.; Philippine Embassy Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto; US Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo; and US Congressman Robert Scott come together at the Philippine Independence Day celebration on June 8.
“As a member of good standing of the international community and in pursuit of its national objectives, the Philippines seeks fruitful partnerships with other countries, based on mutual respect, understanding and benefit. We seek friendships based on shared interests, but not at the expense of any one country. We seek to build more bridges, to strengthen old valued partnerships and at the same time strengthen new relationships and build new partnerships,” he emphasized.
With this year’s theme, Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin (Freedom Day 2017: Everyone Helping Pursue Changes), Mr. Chuasoto opened with a reminder that “the noble task of nation-building is on our shoulders. Our independence and sovereignty demand no less. May we all be reminded that the challenge for the next generation is to honor, cherish and safeguard the very freedoms that our forefathers valiantly fought for and gave their lives in heroic sacrifice” at a reception held at the Chancery Annex Building, in commemoration of the 119th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.
AMBASSADORS and high-ranking officials from ASEAN Embassies close ranks when they attended the Philippine Independence Day celebration held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex in the evening of June 8.
More than 160 guests representing the US Government, foreign diplomatic missions, business sector, and the Filipino community took part in the celebration. Filipino-American tenor Allan Palacios-Chan performed the Philippine and US national anthems.
REAFFIRMS TIES WITH US, ASEAN FRAMEWORKS
The occasion also served to reaffirm the strong and steadfast bond between the Philippines and the United States, both within the bilateral and ASEAN frameworks.
“The United States has also been an enduring and reliable ally of the Philippines. The United States is our only treaty ally. The Philippines is also the United States’ oldest ally in Asia. Our friendship is decades long, reinforced by an alliance that continues to stand strong whether in good or challenging times,” Mr. Chuasoto stated.
PHILIPPINE EMBASSY Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto welcomes over 160 guests from the United States Government, foreign diplomatic corps, private sector, and the Filipino-American community attended the Philippine Independence Day celebration at the Chancery Annex of the Philippine Embassy during the reception on June 8.
The guest of honor, Mr. Thomas Shannon, Jr., US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, echoed the sentiment by describing Philippines-US ties to be “almost a family relationship”.
“What we have in common – what our shared history had given us – is a common set of core values: democracy, economic openness, rule of law, and determined defense of our sovereignty and liberty. As we have been for over a half-century, the US and Filipino peoples are united in our commitment to building a safe, secure and prosperous Asia Pacific region and wider world,” Mr. Shannon remarked.
FIGHTING COMMON FRONTS
He added, “The Philippines and the United States are on the same team – allies – and though the challenges we face may be great – terrorism, drugs, illiteracy, poverty – our teamwork and partnership will help us stay on the winning side. With a growing economy and strong commitment to democracy and its institutions, the future looks bright for the Philippines. We are proud to stand by the Philippines as teammates, partners, and family.”
THE OFFICERS and staff of Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. pose for posterity during the commemoration of the 119th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Philippine Embassy Chancery on June 8.
Members of the US House of Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), Co-chair of the US-Philippines Friendship Caucus, and Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), focused their remarks on the contributions of Filipino-Americans to the strengthening of the social fabric of the United States, and on the role of the Philippines in securing peace, stability and progress for the Asia-Pacific region.