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Cablegate: Ambassador Visits Philippine Marines in Hospital

VZCZCXRO8000
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2447 2010933
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200933Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7514
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS MANILA 002447

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR VISITS PHILIPPINE MARINES IN HOSPITAL

REF: MANILA 2344

1. Summary. During a July 15 and 16 visit to Zamboanga City,
the Ambassador and Commander of Joint Special Operations Task
Force - Philippines (JSOTF-P) visited Philippine marine
casualties of the July 10 Basilan engagement (see reftel).
Prior to the visit they had discussions with the Commander of
the Eastern Mindanao Command. In ceremonies at Zamboanga
City Hall the Ambassador was inducted as a "Daughter of
Zamboanga City". End Summary.

AMBASSADOR VISITS INJURED AFP MARINES IN HEROES WARD
--------------------------------------------- -------

2. Ambassador and Commander JSOTF-P along with the Commander
of WESTMINCOM paid a visit to AFP marines who were injured in
a combat engagement on Basilan on July 10 (see reftel). The
marines were being treated in the Heroes Ward at the AFP
hospital on Camp Navarro. In addition to treatment for their
physical wounds the casualties have also been under going
counseling for combat induced stress according to the chief
nurse. The atmosphere in the ward was reverent and somber as
the Ambassador spoke with each of the wounded. Ambassador
extended her gratitude for the service of the marines and
their sacrifices in the line of duty. Hospital personnel
stated that the personal visit by the Ambassador and
Commander JSOTF-P was very positive for the morale of the
patients

3. SEPTEL reports on Ambassador's meeting with Commander of
WESTMINCOM.

AMBASSADOR BECOMES ADOPTED DAUGHTER OF ZAMBOANGA CITY
--------------------------------------------- --------

4. In a ceremony before a packed city hall the Ambassador was
inducted as a "Daughter of Zamboanga" which highlighted her
ongoing outreach to this strategic area of the Philippines.
The mayor was enthusiastic in his speech conferring the award
to the Ambassador. He recognized the significant
contributions that the US has made in the development of the
city through USAID projects, US Navy ship visits, US military
community relations programs, and as a partner in assisting
the Philippines on the road through the Peace Process. There
was extensive national and local media coverage that
positively portrayed the ceremony and the award. The
Ambassador's remarks stressed the rich history of the city
that embraced diversity and welcomed people of different
faiths and cultures. She expressed her enthusiasm for the
partnership with the city in making government transparent,
improving citizen services and promotion of growth and
development.

ZAMBOANGA CITY - "ASIA'S LATIN CITY"
-------------------------------------

5. Zamboanga City is a busy international port with
strategic importance in the southern Philippines and Sulu
archipelago as a center of government and commerce. It is
the fifth largest city of the Philippines with a population
of over 850,000 and an economy driven by fishing and
agricultural exports. The city is home to the Western
Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) where JSOTF-P is co-located on Camp
Navarro. The political and cultural dynamics of the area are
complex and conflict has long been a part of the social
fabric. Recently the city and region have benefited from the
strong cooperative relationships for JSOTF-P along with those
of USAID that helped to improve infrastructure, increase
economic growth, and lay the foundation for peace and
prosperity in this often troubled part of the Philippines.
KENNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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