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Cablegate: Demarche: Philippines Supports Fairness in Burmese

VZCZCXRO6569
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0690 0770832
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170832Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0178
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 000690

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS (AARON COPE), IO/UNP (PAUL
WICKBERG)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RP BM
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: PHILIPPINES SUPPORTS FAIRNESS IN BURMESE
REFERENDUM

REF: A. MANILA 654
B. SECSTATE 26677

1. (SBU) Director Maria Elena Algabre-Misrahi of the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Southeast Asia Division
confirmed Qch 17 that the Philippine government strongly
supports efforts to make the planned Burmese constitutional
referendum free and fair. She listened carefully to our
concerns that the Burmese regime's draft constitution may not
adhere to internationally-accepted standards for free and
fair elections and referenda, as outlined in reftel B.
Algabre-Misrahi said that the Philippine government wanted to
see serious progress toward democracy in Burma. She noted
that President Arroyo's March 9 public criticism of the
Burmese junta as well as the comments of Asian and Pacific
Affairs Assistant Secretary Romeo Manalo to EAP DAS Marciel
March 3 demonstrated the Philippines' ongoing support (reftel
A), and that, given the lack of trade and other close ties
between the two countries, her government viewed continued
public engagement on Burma as preferable to
government-to-government confrontation. Algabre-Misrahi
added that the Asian and Pacific Affairs Office would welcome
the U.S. assessment of UN Special Advisor Gambari's report
regarding his March 6 - 10 trip to Burma when it becomes
available.


Visit Embassy Manila's Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/
JONES

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