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Cablegate: Arroyo Calls Ford "a Dedicated Leader"

VZCZCXRO6266
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #5107 3630749
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290749Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4409
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 005107

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL RP
SUBJECT: ARROYO CALLS FORD "A DEDICATED LEADER"

REF: A. MANILA 5101

B. STATE 203066

1. (U) As widely reported in the local media, Philippine
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo praised former President
Gerald Ford in a December 28 letter to his widow, calling him
a "dedicated leader" who "led the country through a
challenging period of transition for all Americans."
President Arroyo spoke "on behalf of the people and
government of the Philippines... in convey(ing) heartfelt
condolences over the passing of your husband... Our prayers
are with you and your family in this most difficult time."

2. (U) The Department of Foreign Affairs on December 29
released a statement from Secretary Alberto Romulo on the
death of former President Ford. The text of the statement
follows:

BEGIN TEXT

The People of the Philippines join our friends from the
United States of America in mourning the passing of former
U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, a true statesman and friend of
the Philippines and all freedom-loving nations of the world.

We remember the late President as a man of impeccable
character and integrity, whose quiet dignity and true
commitment to the service of his nation made him the ideal
leader for the United States during a period of healing and
reconciliation.

During this time of remembrance, it is apt to recall the
significant milestone in the RP-US relations which was
achieved during President Ford's visit to the Philippines in
December 1975. During said visit, the leaders of both
countries affirmed that the Philippine-US security
partnership was not directed toward any country, but was
meant to preserve and promote the welfare of both countries
as well as contribute to global peace and progress.

These ideals remain the basic tenets of RP-US relations over
thirty years after said visit. President Ford must therefore
be credited in no small part for helping pave the way for the
development of the solid and mature character of the
relationship between our two countries today.

The world has lost a great leader. But his immeasurable
contributions to his country and the entire world, and the
unassailable strength of his character, will ever be
remembered.

END TEXT

3. (U) Senior diplomats from Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei,
Chile, Finland, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea,
Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Turkey, United Kingdom,
and Vietnam continued to pay their respects and signed the
condolence book on December 29.


Visit Embassy Manila's Classified 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/
KENNEY

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