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GMA greets president-elect

gma.png MANILA = President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led millions of Filipinos Nov. 5 in congratulating United States Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for winning handily the 2008 US presidential elections by defeating rival Republican Sen. John McCain.
“On behalf of the Filipino nation and the Filipino people, I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on his election as the 44th President of the United States,” the President said in a statement released
during the weekly press conference of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita in Malacañang.
“We welcome his triumph in the same vein that we place the integrity of the US electoral process and the choices made by the American people in high regard,” the President added.
[ad#featuredpost120x600-wht]The President tried to congratulate Obama directly by phone during a meeting with US Ambassador Kristie Kenney around 2 p.m. (Manila Time) in Malacanang Wednesday but was unsuccessful. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said she would probably try to meet him when she goes to the US to address the UN general assembly. This was later denied after Kenney said Obama would be busy preparing for the transition.
During Mrs. Arroyo’s state visit to the United States last June, she tried to arrange a meeting with Obama who was then busy campaigning. Her request for a personal meeting declined because of his tight campaign schedule. But Obama gave her a courtesy phone call on June 26.
In her statement, the President said the “Philippine government, and the Filipino nation for that matter, had closely observed this elections as it would any important developments in its strongest country-ally.”
She saluted the Filipino-Americans who had actively participated in the electoral process saying that their choices “ultimately and positively impact their Motherland, the Philippines, as much as it will redound to the betterment of the United States of America as a nation and as a people.”
She expressed confidence that bilateral relations between the two countries covering various aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life would remain strong and stable as ever “with the next
administration of the United States.”
The President also said she was looking forward to closely working with President-elect Obama in further strengthening cooperation between the US and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as addressing the concerns of our World War II veterans.
“This much we can expect from a country-ally whose strong relations with our country we have mutually nurtured through decades past and which we both enjoy to this day,” the President said.
“As I am aware if the political and economic challenges that the US president will face that will, in turn, bear on the global scenario, my family and I pray that Senator Obama be guided always by wisdom from the Almighty God, and wish for his continued success and well-being,” the President added.
Members of the Philippine Congress do not foresee any change in US policy towards Asia. But businessmen predict that there will be less and less American investments as a result of Obama’s policy to tax companies that relocates abroad.
Catholic leaders are worried over the implementation of foreign policies, particularly the population control programs of the Democratic party. Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive Secretary, Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said what concerns them is the influence of the Obama administration on the Philippine government regarding the programs on population control.
“What we are afraid of is that the U.S. government would again be very aggressive in influencing the Philippine government on the promotion of contraceptives and population control,” he said in an article posted on the CBCPNews website.

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