President Barack Obama praised the Philippines

United States President Barack Obama praised the Philippines for the extensive reforms that the current government has initiated, vowing to continuously support it in its endeavors, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Saturday.

The President arrived Saturday night at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City after his successful attendance at the 19th Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Summit in Bali, Indonesia this week.

“Nakausap rin natin ang ilang kaalyado, kabilang na si Pangulong Obama ng Amerika. Idiniin po niya ang mga naihayag na ni Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bago pa tayo tumungo sa Bali: mas malalim na ugnayan at suporta sa ating seguridad at mga programa upang iangat ang nakakarami mula sa kahirapan,” he said in his arrival statement.

“Nagpakita rin po si Pangulong Obama ng paghanga sa ating tuwid na landas, at sa patuloy nating agenda ng tapat at may-pananagutang pamamahala,” he said.

The President underscored the importance of effective and clean governance in defeating poverty in the country, one of his campaign pledges when he run as president last year.

“Tunay nga po: nasa tuwid na pamamahala ang ugat ng pagpuksa sa kahirapan. Nasa isip ko po iyan, saanmang lupalop ako mapadpad, kaya nga hindi po tayo nahuli sa pagtutok sa mga pangyayari sa Pilipinas kahit pa ba kaharap natin ang mga pinuno ng iba’t ibang bansa,” the President said.

The President and Obama had a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the 19th Asean summit in Indonesia, reinvigorating the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

“I just want to commend President Aquino for his leadership and his reform efforts. I think our relationship that is already very strong can only become stronger,” Obama told the President about the developments in the country.

Aside from strengthening their alliance, Obama and President Aquino discussed important matters such as maritime security and non-proliferation, among others.

Prior to the meeting between the two leaders in Indonesia, President Aquino met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Manila this week for the commemoration of the military alliance between the Philippines and the US.

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