• New US Ambassador to PH arrives in Manila

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    Newly designated United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg arrived in Manila Monday night merely days after he was sworn in as envoy.

    US President Barack Obama has speed up Goldberg’s deployment to the Philippines to augment the global superpower’s relief aid operations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

    Secretary of State John Kerry administered the swearing-in of the former US assistant secretary for Intelligence and Research at the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department in Washington DC early Thursday morning.

    Apparently, the ceremony was considered as the earliest Treaty Room swearing-in in the history of the State Department.

    The US Senate voted to confirm Goldberg, a veteran career diplomat, on November 14, a month after former US Ambassador to Manila Harry Thomas Jr. officially left a post he held for three years.

    In his remarks after taking his oath and signing his appointment papers, Goldberg said he is heading to Manila with “mixed emotions.”

    “I’m excited and honored to be going to the Philippines, a country with which we share so much history,” he said.

    “At the same time, it’s hard to think of the suffering of so many people in the Philippines in recent weeks and all they’ve endured without a touch of sadness and without being moved.”

    However, he said if he has learned one thing from the Filipino friends he has made all around the world it’s that “they’re warm . . . tough and resilient.”

    “There should be no doubt that they will bounce back,” the former US ambassador to Bolivia said.

    Goldberg’s appointment was apparently accelerated by Obama to enable him to help the two countries coordinate its relief and humanitarian efforts.

    The US Embassy in Manila, he said, made a “smooth work” in terms of coordinating with the Philippine government.

    If there was one thing the relief efdort highlighted, it is the importance of the relationship between the US and Philippine military,  Goldberg had said.

    “The coordination has been outstanding and has saved lives,” Goldberg, a native of Boston, Massachusetts and a graduate of The Rivers School and Boston University, added.

    Echoing the declaration of Secretary Kerry that the relationship of the US with the Philippines is “broad-based and deep,” the new ambassador to Manila said he is confident that they will be able to do more in many other areas.

    “I look forward to working with the Aquino government so that further progress can be made in so many other areas,” he said. “This is a historic relationship and based on friendship, shared values and family ties.”

    BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON

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