Remarks At A Luncheon Hosted by President Benigno Aquino

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Manila, Philippines
November 16, 2011

PRESIDENT AQUINO: Today we confer upon the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Order of Lakandula, one of the highest honors that can be (inaudible). For deepening and broadening the engagement between United States and the Philippines (inaudible). One of cornerstones our engagement is the Mutual Defense Treaty between our two countries. Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary (inaudible).

Let me also take this occasion to launch our new Partnership for Growth (inaudible). The Partnership for Growth is a new framework for strengthening our economic engagement to promote and support broad base economic growth. These are (inaudible) the relationships between our two countries. Your visit shows us that alliance between the United States and Philippines (inaudible) that this bond (inaudible). Our countries enjoy a friendship forged by shared history, goodwill and (inaudible). The Pacific may separate our countries, but the words and deeds of the past provide us with a bridge that is able to reach across the vast ocean.

With this, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to propose a toast to Secretary Hillary Clinton may (inaudible) stronger relationship (inaudible) United States (inaudible) cooperation (inaudible) mutual benefit and the sincere desire to work for our people (inaudible) American (inaudible) between our two countries as we work to institute lasting and inclusive progress in our two nations (inaudible) as we say in the Philippines (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for that warm welcome. We are so honored to be here for many reasons. Yes, it is the 60th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty that has demonstrated for all to see the strong bonds of solidarity and partnership between our two nations. Yes, it is the 50th anniversary of USAID and the Peace Corps. Both organizations have been partners with Filipino people for those decades. Yes, we did have the opportunity today to renew our bonds in a very tangible manner, first on the deck of the USS Fitzgerald with the signing of the Manila Declaration, and just now with the signing of the Partnership for Growth. Because this relationship is about the future. It certainly honors the past and all that we have done together, but it looks forward and it is about the strong ties between our peoples, because we know that governments and public officials, political leaders exist to support the better lives and futures of the people they serve. And you, Mr. President, and your family have exemplified that principle.

So it is for all of the reasons of the ties, of partnerships, solidarity, cooperation, familial affection between us, that I propose a toast: To the president and to all who serve with him, on behalf of a better future for the children and the next generation, to the bonds between our two countries, and particularly the strong personal relationships that go beyond governments, go beyond treaties and declarations, between the people of the United States and the people of the Philippines, may God bless our common endeavors.

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PRN: 2011/T55-08