PNoy CONFERS ORDER OF SIKATUNA TO OBAMA

The Order of Sikatuna is an Order of Diplomatic Merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Republic of the Philippines, and upon diplomats, officials and nationals of foreign states who have rendered conspicuous services in fostering, developing and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines, or upon personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), both in the Home Office and in the Foreign Service. This badge and collar was given to President Barack Obama of the United States during his visit to the Philippines on April 28, 2014. President Benigno Aquino III on Monday night bestowed the highest Philippine diplomatic honor to United States President Barack Obama. During the televised state dinner, Aquino conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the highest rank of Raja to Obama for his leadership and policies that assisted the Philippines in times of disaster, for helping uphold stability and peace in Southeast Asia, and for raising the defense capacities of the Philippines. "You have demonstrated the unwavering commitment to the growth and development of our nation. It is only fitting, therefore, that your efforts be recognized with the conferment of the Order of Sikatuna," Aquino told Obama. The American leader, on the other hand, said he is deeply honored to receive the conferment, "I accept it in the spirit which it has been bestowed with the commitment to continue deepen the bonds between our two great nations," Obama said.

ALSO: US not keen on putting up military bases in Phl: Obama

US President Barack Obama said today that his government is not attempting to build military bases in the Philippines. Obama made the statement in a press briefing held in Malacanang, the presidential palace, a few hours after the Philippines and the United States signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). "I want to be very clear, the United States is not trying to reclaim old bases or build new bases," he said. Upon the invitation of the Philippines, Obama said American service members will rotate to Filipino facilities, train and exercise together "so that we can be prepared for a range of challenges including humanitarian crisis and natural disasters like typhoon Haiyan." He told Aquino during their bilateral meeting that the US supports the Philippines' decision to pursue international arbitration in resolving the dispute over South China Sea. Apart from expanding security cooperation, the two presidents also agreed to deepen economic ties between the US and the Philippines. Obama is currently in the Philippines as the final leg of his four-nation tour to Asia which covered Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. THIS IS THE FULL STORY

ALSO: Obama thanks Fil-Am chef for lumpia, adobo in White House

It seems that United States President Barack Obama has been enjoying Filipino food even before he set foot on Philippine land on Monday. Obama said the US and the Philippines have a shared pride in the millions of Filipino-Americans who contribute to the US every day. But he made special mention to Cristeta Comerford, the White House executive chef born in Manila. Obama said he is grateful to the Filipina-American for her services. "Thanks to her, we in the White House enjoy the occasional lumpia and adobo," Obama said in a short speech as he offered a toast during the televised state dinner in Malacañang. READ MORE...

ALSO: Obama cites 'bayanihan' of US, Philippines in wake of 'Yolanda'

President Barack Obama vowed on Monday that the United States will remain supportive of the Philippines' rehabilitation efforts following the devastation of Super Typhoon "Yolanda" last year. During a televised press conference with President Benigno Aquino III, Obama said the US will continue to stand with its treaty ally as it tries to rebuild affected areas and recover from the effects of the deadly typhoon. "Our commitment to the Philippines will not waver," Obama told Aquino and reporters at the Malacañang Palace earlier this afternoon. Yolanda devastated several parts of Eastern Visayas last November with its heavy rains, record winds and tsunami-like storm surges that flattened entire communities. The US was among the several nations that immediately extended help to the Philippines. Obama pointed out that Filipino and American soldiers and civilians worked hand in hand to rescue typhoon survivors and deliver relief aid to the disaster victims. "That's what friends do for each other," Obama said of the disaster response efforts of the Philippines and the US. He said the spirit of "bayanihan" was seen in situations like these. READ MORE...


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PNoy confers Order of Sikatuna to Obama


The Order of Sikatuna is an Order of Diplomatic Merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Republic of the Philippines, and upon diplomats, officials and nationals of foreign states who have rendered conspicuous services in fostering, developing and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines, or upon personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), both in the Home Office and in the Foreign Service. This badge and collar was given to President Barack Obama of the United States during his visit to the Philippines on April 28, 2014. Official Gazette/gov.ph

MANILA, APRIL 29, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Louis Bacani - President Benigno Aquino III on Monday night bestowed the highest Philippine diplomatic honor to United States President Barack Obama.

During the televised state dinner, Aquino conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the highest rank of Raja to Obama for his leadership and policies that assisted the Philippines in times of disaster, for helping uphold stability and peace in Southeast Asia, and for raising the defense capacities of the Philippines.

"You have demonstrated the unwavering commitment to the growth and development of our nation. It is only fitting, therefore, that your efforts be recognized with the conferment of the Order of Sikatuna," Aquino told Obama.

The American leader, on the other hand, said he is deeply honored to receive the conferment,

"I accept it in the spirit which it has been bestowed with the commitment to continue deepen the bonds between our two great nations," Obama said.

Obama also extended his thanks to the Philippines for the "extraordinary hospitality" during his first visit.

The two presidents offered toasts for one another as Aquino also hoped that Obama had a memorable visit.

"Though your stay here in the country may be short, I hope that it will allow you to see and experience for yourself how indeed it is more fun in the Philippines," Aquino told Obama as he offered a toast for the American leader later on.

According to the Official Gazette, the Order of Sikatuna is an Order of Diplomatic Merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Philippines.

It is also given to diplomats, officials and nationals of foreign states who have provided services in fostering, developing and strengthening relations between the Philippines and their countries.

Former US President Dwight Eisenhower was the first one to receive the said diplomatic merit in June 16, 1960 during the term of President Carlos Garcia.

US not keen on putting up military bases in Phl: Obama (philstar.com) | Updated April 28, 2014 - 10:00pm 0 5 googleplus0 0


OBAMA IN MALACANANG

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - US President Barack Obama said today that his government is not attempting to build military bases in the Philippines.

Obama made the statement in a press briefing held in Malacanang, the presidential palace, a few hours after the Philippines and the United States signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

"I want to be very clear, the United States is not trying to reclaim old bases or build new bases," he said.

Upon the invitation of the Philippines, Obama said American service members will rotate to Filipino facilities, train and exercise together "so that we can be prepared for a range of challenges including humanitarian crisis and natural disasters like typhoon Haiyan."

He told Aquino during their bilateral meeting that the US supports the Philippines' decision to pursue international arbitration in resolving the dispute over South China Sea.

Apart from expanding security cooperation, the two presidents also agreed to deepen economic ties between the US and the Philippines.

Obama is currently in the Philippines as the final leg of his four-nation tour to Asia which covered Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

Obama thanks Fil-Am chef for lumpia, adobo in White House By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated April 28, 2014 - 8:27pm 27 1712 googleplus2 0


Chef Cristeta "Cris" Comerford prepares a meal inside the White House kitchen in this July 17, 2002 photo. White House photo by Tina Hager/

MANILA, Philippines — It seems that United States President Barack Obama has been enjoying Filipino food even before he set foot on Philippine land on Monday.

Obama said the US and the Philippines have a shared pride in the millions of Filipino-Americans who contribute to the US every day.

But he made special mention to Cristeta Comerford, the White House executive chef born in Manila. Obama said he is grateful to the Filipina-American for her services.

"Thanks to her, we in the White House enjoy the occasional lumpia and adobo," Obama said in a short speech as he offered a toast during the televised state dinner in Malacañang.

Obama also said that Americans feel their spirit in their friendship with the Philippines "that expresses itself in so many ways."

He cited the US and the Philippines' mutual obsession with basketball and the shared admiration for Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.

"Even if sometimes he's playing against Americans that doesn't (sic) turn out the way we like," Obama said without elaborating.

Obama said that as a treaty ally, the US has an "iron-clad" commitment to defend the Philippines' security and independence.

"On behalf of the American people, we are honored and proud to call you an ally and a friend," Obama said in front of about 300 guests that included Philippine officials.

The American leader was also served with Filipino food during the state dinner.

Obama cites 'bayanihan' of US, Philippines in wake of 'Yolanda' By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated April 28, 2014 - 8:04pm 2 25 googleplus0 0


United States President Barack Obama meets with his counterpart,

MANILA, Philippines — President Barack Obama vowed on Monday that the United States will remain supportive of the Philippines' rehabilitation efforts following the devastation of Super Typhoon "Yolanda" last year.

During a televised press conference with President Benigno Aquino III, Obama said the US will continue to stand with its treaty ally as it tries to rebuild affected areas and recover from the effects of the deadly typhoon.

"Our commitment to the Philippines will not waver," Obama told Aquino and reporters at the Malacañang Palace earlier this afternoon.

Yolanda devastated several parts of Eastern Visayas last November with its heavy rains, record winds and tsunami-like storm surges that flattened entire communities.

The US was among the several nations that immediately extended help to the Philippines. Obama pointed out that Filipino and American soldiers and civilians worked hand in hand to rescue typhoon survivors and deliver relief aid to the disaster victims.

"That's what friends do for each other," Obama said of the disaster response efforts of the Philippines and the US.

He said the spirit of "bayanihan" was seen in situations like these.

"Our partnership reflects an important Filipino concept — bayanihan — the idea that we have to work together to accomplish things that we couldn't achieve on our own," Obama said.

Obama set foot on Philippine soil the same day Manila and Washington signed the new 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which aims to increase the US military presence in the country.

The new defense pact would also improve the disaster response capabilities of the militaries of both nations, according to officials.

Aquino said Yolanda showed the entire world how vulnerable developing nations like the Philippines are to natural disasters.

"As such, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response is an essential component of our cooperation," the Philippine leader said in his statement.

The President added that he looks forward to the continued cooperation of the US with the Philippines.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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