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Cablegate: Foreign Secretary Promotes Icj Candidate

VZCZCXRO9524
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0315 0360729
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050729Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9663
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0255
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 000315

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS, IO/UNP, L

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ICG IO PGOV PREL RP
SUBJECT: FOREIGN SECRETARY PROMOTES ICJ CANDIDATE

REF: 2007 MANILA 3771

1. (U) Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo hosted a
February 4 luncheon in support of the candidacy of Philippine
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago for the International Court
of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague. DCM attended, along with
ambassadors from France, Indonesia, Panama, Russia, and
Vietnam, as well as the DCM of the Libyan Embassy and the
Costa Rican Consul. Following an enthusiastic introduction
by the Foreign Secretary, Defensor-Santiago offered remarks
in which she outlined her vision for the work that lies ahead
at the ICJ.

2. (U) Defensor-Santiago, who holds two degrees from the
University of Michigan Law School, serves as Chair of the
Philippine Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations, and
enjoys the full support of the Arroyo administration. An
active legislator, the 63-year-old Defensor-Santiago calls
herself the "Anti-Corruption Senator," and has also focused
on human rights, women's and children's issues, health, and
education. A former judge, law professor, and Secretary of
Agrarian Reform, Defensor-Santiago was narrowly defeated by
Fidel Ramos in her 1992 presidential bid.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: The Philippines is proactively supporting
its ICJ candidate, who is a well-known public figure here.
The Philippines, one of the UN's founding members, has not
had a representative on the ICJ since former Philippine Chief
Justice Cesar Bengzon's 1967-1976 term.
KENNEY

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