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Cablegate: President Arroyo Confers Awards On Peace Corps

VZCZCXYZ0013
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #2076 1720554
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 210554Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7074

UNCLAS MANILA 002076

SIPDIS

PASS TO PEACE CORPS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CASC RP
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT ARROYO CONFERS AWARDS ON PEACE CORPS

REFS: A) Manila 1171; B) Manila 1189; C) Manila 1229


1. (U) On June 11, President Arroyo honored the Peace Corps with the
presentation of two Order of the Golden Heart awards. The Order of
the Golden Heart gives official recognition to Filipino or foreign
citizens who have rendered distinguished service or volunteerism in
the service of the Filipino people. The award conferred the rank of
Officer to slain Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell and Grand
Cross to the overall Peace Corps. A Peace Corps Volunteer and the
Country Director accepted the awards in front of an audience
including the Foreign Secretary of the Philippines, Chief of Police,
Head of Armed Forces and Executive Secretary, U.S. Ambassador,
Embassy and Peace Corps staff.

2. (U) Since 1961, more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers have
servedin the Philippines. Currently, they work in 38 prvinces in
programs focusing on vulnerable youth,education, and environment.

3. (U) Following thepresentation ceremony, President Arroyo spoke
wih Ambassador, the Peace Corps Director, other staf, and a
Volunteer. The President praised the Peae Corps program and
remarked that the work in Enlish language teaching is a critically
needed conribution to the economic development of the Philipines.
President Arroyo also cited Julia Campbells role in aiding typhoon
victims in Bicol. She paised all the volunteers who worked to aid
victis of typhoons, floods and mudslides last year in Biol. The
Peace Corps Director described current eforts to start a Crisis
Corps operation in the Pilippines that will support planning for
and delvery of assistance to disaster victims in the postdisaster
period to help people get reestablished n their communities and
become economically prodctive again. President Arroyo welcomed this
Peac Corps initiative and commented that this is preciely the
aspect of disaster relief assistance tha the Philippines needs.

4. (U) More than 50 medi representatives attended the ceremony, and
spok with the Ambassador, Peace Corps Director, and a volunteer
after the event. Coverage repeatedly referred to and highlighted
the long-term development and humanitarian contributions of the
Peace Corps in the Philippines. Photos and articles appeared in
nearly all of the daily national newspapers, including a front-page
photo and article in the Philippines' largest daily newspaper.
National television also covered the ceremony.

KENNEY

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