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U.S. Ambassador to Manila Lauds Phils.' Antiterrorist Efforts

Pinoy Herald, News Report, Pinoy Herald Posted: Feb 17, 2009

MANILA, Phils. --- US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney recently lauded the Philippine government for doing a great job in combating terrorism and promoting peace and development in Southern Philippines.

Kenney made the remarks during an ambush interview Tuesday right after the traditional Vin D` Honnuer held at Malacanang`s Rizal (Ceremonial) Hall.

I think the Philippines is doing a great job in combating terrorism. I also think the Philippines has done a wonderful job with so many partners in Jolo (Sulu province) in promoting development, Ambassador Kenney told reporters.

She said that the US as one of the partners of the Philippine government in its efforts to restore peace and spur development in Mindanao, particularly in Jolo, recognizes the outstanding efforts of the national government in providing livelihood assistance to the residents and improving infrastructure facilities like roads and schools in the region.

With the ongoing search and rescue operation for the three kidnapped workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Kenney also commended the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) handling of the case.

She assured the Filipino people that the US government is ready to provide assistance to the military and the police until the kidnapped victims are rescued from their abductors.

"These are International Red Cross workers. They should be released safely. And those involved should be brought to justice and held responsible for their illegal acts. Period, Kenney stressed.

Last Jan. 15, the Swiss representative of the ICRC and two other workers of the organization were seized at gunpoint by alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) near the Sulu capitol building in Patikul town.

In her speech, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo renewed her call on the International Monitoring Team, members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), European nations and the United States of America to support the Philippine government in its efforts to advance peace and
progress in Mindanao.

The President informed the members of the diplomatic corps that the country`s economy will be the central focus of her administration as well as the restarting the peace process in Mindanao her personal commitment in 2009.

Related Articles:

Phil. President Enlists Aid of Sweden, U.K. for Peace Negotiations

Philippines Asks U.N. for Answers in Peacekeepers Death

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