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29/06/2011: Ambassador Cuisia Hosts Members of US Congress in Honor of Secretary Del Rosario

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, standing, delivers remarks to members of U.S. Congress at a dinner tendered in his honor by Ambassador Jose Cuisia. L-R: Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Sec. Albert del Rosario, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), partly hidden, and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX).

29 JUNE 2011, WASHINGTON, D.C. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. hosted last June 23 a dinner for members of the U.S. Congress to welcome visiting Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. The gathering served as an opportune occasion for the Secretary to meet old and new friends.

Present during the event were Representative Bob Filner (D-CA), Representative Bob Scott (D-VA), Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL), Representative Jim Costa (D-CA), Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Representative Eni Faleomavaega (D-GU). Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) joined the group briefly.

During the dinner, Secretary del Rosario recalled his memorable tenure as ambassador to the U.S. and articulated his vision and foreign policy priorities as Foreign Affairs Secretary. He conveyed to the members the vital alliance between the Philippines and the United States especially in view of recent developments in the West Philippine Sea.

Discussions likewise took place on a variety of important topics.  Secretary del Rosario also secured the support of the members for the SAVE Our Industries Act.  Rep. Miller spoke about his trip to the Philippines in the Fall of 2010 as member of the Armed Services Committee. He is now Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Rep. Jim Costa of California also recounted his very recent trip to the Philippines as a member of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's Congressional Delegation. Rep. Costa shared with the group his positive impressions of the Philippines and enjoined them to visit the country if they have not done so. Rep. Rohrabacher reiterated his support for the Philippines particularly in the context of recent developments in the West Philippine Sea. Rep. Eni Faleomavaega informed the group of a pending resolution in the House expressing serious concern over the use of force in the West Philippine Sea. Rep. Jackie Speier for her part expressed her continuing full support for the Filipino veterans. Sec. del Rosario appreciated the presence of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee who was a strong supporter of the Philippine bid for the Millennium Challenge Account. He was also delighted to see Rep. Bob Scott, the first Filipino American Member of the US Congress and was a pillar of the Philippine Friendship Caucus.

Standing on right is Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Rep. Bob Scott (D-VA) and Sec. Albert del Rosario

Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) and Amb. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

Sec. Albert del Rosario and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-GU)

On behalf of the distinguished legislators, Rep. Filner, as the most senior member in the group and Co-Chair of the Friendship Caucus, expressed his profound appreciation to Ambassador Cuisia for hosting the banquet as it allowed a lively exchange of views and understanding of various issues of mutual interest to the Philippines and the United States. END