US solons assure PH of continued support for rehab, defense

Posted at 05/04/2014 3:39 PM
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, accompanied by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Rep. Abigail Binay-Campos, discuss bilateral issues with Rep. Ed Royce, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States House of Representatives, during a meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.Photo by Ariel Penaranda, Philippine Embassy

MANILA -- The United States Congress assured the Philippines of its continued support in the rehabilitation of areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.

The members of the US Congress also assured the Philippines of a stronger alliance between the two nations amid threats in the disputed seas.

These, after Vice President Jejomar C. Binay met with US congressional leaders at the Capitol Hill on May 1, the Philippine Embassy said in a statement released Sunday.

“I am very glad to receive the assurances of US congressional leaders of their support for the Philippines and the enduring friendship between our countries and the Filipino and American peoples,” said Binay, who is in Washington to keynote the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The Embassy said the vice president, accompanied by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., held separate meetings with Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs; California Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

During the meetings, Binay reiterated the government's appreciation for the immediate and comprehensive assistance extended by the US government to typhoon-affected communities in Central Visayas.

Binay said the US legislators expressed hope for the immediate recovery of the people in the affected areas. They also assured him that the Philippine government could count on their support in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

The US congressional leaders also assured Binay of their support for the closer defense cooperation between the two countries, as well as building capabilities to respond to catastrophes and natural disasters.

The US leaders took note of the Asian pivot plan, which has long been trumpeted by US President Barack Obama.

“Vice President Binay’s congressional meetings showed that the bipartisan support of the US for the Philippines and the Philippines-United States alliance is rooted in the US Congress which represents the American people.” Ambassador Cuisia stated.