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19/06/2012: Senate Leaders Honor President Aquino with Reception at U.S. Capitol

19 June 2012, Washington DC. Members of the United States Senate leadership hosted a reception last June 7 at the U.S. Capitol for President Benigno S. Aquino III, during his two-day visit to Washington.  The high-powered legislators included Senate President Pro-Tempore Daniel K. Inouye (Democrat-Hawaii), who also serves as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator William Thad Cochran (Republican-Mississippi), Ranking Member of the Committee on Appropriations, Senator Richard G. Lugar (Republican-Indiana), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Senator John F. Kerry (Democrat-Massachusetts), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada), Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona), Senator Mark Warner (Democrat-Virginia) and Senator Jack Reed (Democrat-Rhode Island) were among the senators who met with President Aquino.

President Aquino (second from L), in a photo taken during the reception hosted for him at the U.S. Capitol on June 7, is welcomed by (L-R) Senator McCain (R-AZ), Senator Lugar (R-IN), Senator Cochran (R-MS), Senator Inouye (D-HI), Senator Kerry (D-MA), Senator Reid (D-NV) and Fil-am staff (office of Senator Reid). Photo courtesy of U.S. Senate Photo Studio.

President Aquino narrated his administration’s efforts to fight corruption and promote good governance, which have translated to an improved fiscal situation and sustained economic growth.  He cited the impeachment of the country’s Chief Justice and the Freedom of Information bill that is pending in Congress as measures that would further restore the faith of Filipinos in government.

President Aquino (rightmost) converses with (L-R) Senator Kerry (D-MA), Senator McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Warner (R-VA) on his administration’s efforts to fight corruption and promote good governance during the reception hosted for him at the U.S. Capitol on June 7. Photo courtesy of U.S. Senate Photo Studio.

The President also called for more robust economic and defense cooperation, and highlighted Philippine position on the West Philippine Sea and the need to preserve peace and stability in the region.  The President noted that the U.S.’ rebalancing to Asia and the Pacific, at the time when the Philippines is strengthening its external defense capabilities, presents opportunities to revitalize the alliance.  He also spoke about Mindanao and his goal of making the peace talks work.

President Aquino (leftmost) poses for a photo with Senator Inouye (D-HI) and Senator Reed (D-RI) during the reception hosted for him at the U.S. Capitol on June 7. Photo courtesy of U.S. Senate Photo Studio.

President Aquino cited Senator Inouye’s vigorous advocacy of the Philippine-U.S. alliance and significant role in championing the cause of Filipino veterans of World War II.  He thanked Senator Inouye for organizing the Senate reception which was held at the historic and august Lydon B. Johnson Room.  President Aquino also referred to the crucial roles played by Senator Lugar, Senator Cochran, and Senator Kerry in the process of political change in the Philippines in 1986. (END)