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                  Office of the Press Secretary
                      (Manila, Philippines)
For Immediate Release                           November 13, 1994
                       AND PRESIDENT RAMOS
                        AT STATE LUNCHEON
                         Malacang Palace
                       Manila, Philippines

3:30 P.M. (L)

PRESIDENT RAMOS: (in progress) -- of 20 October 1944 defines for all time the singular character of the friendship between our two peoples. For us Filipinos, Leyte was an American promise that was honorably redeemed and the beginning of our country's emergence to freedom.

Mr. President, the world has changed greatly since then. The nature of the relationships among nations has changed in the Asia Pacific region and in the world. The character Philippine-American relations, too, has changed.

In the light of these changes, your visit to our country is invested with a historic timeliness. Your visit is itself a statement of America's purposes and interests in Asia Pacific, including Southeast Asia. It declares America's intention to remain engaged in this region. It renews America's commitment to the peace, stability and progress of our part of the world.

Mr. President, we in the Philippines, and I venture say the rest of the Asia Pacific peoples, take heart from the role that the United States has assumed in building a new structure of regional peace and stability, bilaterally and through various networks, such as the ASEAN regional forum. And we are now as gratified by growing evidence in recent times of America's continuing leadership in the task of disarming many of the conflicts that have threatened the peace of regions and the welfare of peoples.

American action, in concert with its friends, has given the people of Haiti the chance to build in peace the kind of democratic system that they have chosen for themselves. And the Philippines is proud to be part of this effort.

In the Middle East, American encouragement and support have helped neighbors who have been in conflict for so long, to break through to peace, coexistence and cooperation. In Northeast Asia, American diplomacy with united collaboration of Koreans on either side of the 38th Parallel and the great powers with legitimate interests there has tremendously eased the tensions in the Korean Peninsula. These historic interventions, Mr. President, the world owes to your statesmanship, no less than the professionalism of American diplomacy.

Just as much do we applaud your economic policies, which has returned the American economy to the ways of growth. These achievements have apparently not yet received the recognition that they deserve in your country, but -- it has always been for leaders with vision. The evangelist, Luke, Chapter 4, Verse 24, tells us -- and I quote: "No prophet is accepted in his hometown." (Applause.) But in time that recognition must come, because the historic initiatives you have achieved transcend the ups and downs of electoral politics.

Certainly America's current economic recovery will be welcome news to leaders' summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, of APEC, in Indonesia. Coming as it does with your government's unequivocal commitment to a global regime of freer trade and unhindered competition, America's return to growth cannot but spur the APEC process and lift up the entire global economy.

We in the Philippines, Mr. President, can claim that we have put our house in order and that we can now better pull our weight in regional cooperation and look out for ourselves in the world. You come to the Philippines at peace with itself and with its neighbors. You come to a country back on the road to growth by way of our opening our economy to free market competition and to free market forces, and gaining the consensus of the multipartisan leadership in support of our national development goals. You come to a nation renewed to achieve a greater measure of social equity and cohesion for all its people under the reign of freedom and people empowerment.

I am confident your visit, Mr. President, will give further impetus to our building of a truly sovereign relationship -- a process we began with our discussions in Washington a year ago upon your kind invitation. Such a new partnership is founded primarily on economic cooperation and mutual benefit. On the other hand, our shared commitment to the peace, stability and security of this region, and our common security interests remain an important part of that foundation.

This is a commitment expressed not only in our mutual defense treaty and the activities that flow from it, but also in our common involvement in the multilateral search for arrangements and processes to strengthen regional stability and security. We are building this new relationship on the strength of the growing trade between us, our intensive transactions in investments and finance, and our common participation in APEC and the forums and tasks related to it.

Not the least, our new relationship is being reinforced by the significant American community in the Philippines and the large and growing Filipino community in the United States which is now beginning to develop important political dimensions.

Above all, this new relationship, no less than the old, is rooted in the faith we share, in the inherent value and efficacy of democracy, and our shared belief in the sanctity of the rule of law.

In this sense, your all too brief visit to Southeast Asia and our country, Mr. President, acquires an added quality. Thanks in large measure to the steadfastness of the United States, the structures of arbitrary rule are crumbling and ideals of democracy and human rights, of freedom and of the rule of law are beginning to light up the world.

The United States has a special responsibility for affirming, fortifying and propagating these ideals, just as America's strength gives it the special role of constructive leadership in the world, for uniquely among nations, America was founded on these very same principles of responsible and representative government; of inalienable rights and the majesty of the law.

The United States is thus called upon to affirm with clarity and firmness its devotion to democracy and the Bill of Rights -- not through confrontation, but by deed and example. In the end, it is in these shared values that the unique affinity between or two peoples is based. And it is from them that the new relationship we are building must proceed.

             And so in this spirit I ask all of you, 

excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, to rise and join me in a toast to the continued good health of the President of the United States of America, the reinforced relationship between the Philippines and the United States, and to the enduring friendship between the Filipino and the American peoples. Mabuhay -- long life.

(A toast is offered.)

PRESIDENT CLINTON: President and Mrs. Ramos, former President Macapagal, former President Aquino, distinguished members of the Philippine government, members of the business community here, members of the diplomatic corps, my fellow Americans who are here:

Let me begin by thanking President Ramos and Mrs. Ramos for making Hillary and me and all of our delegation here feel so very welcome on our all too brief, but very enjoyable and very important visit to the Philippines.

One hundred thousand Americans call the Philippines home. And now, about 1.5 million Filipinos call the United States home. Indeed, I was trying to count up all the Philippine- Americans I brought with me on this trip, and I lost count. But we have people here from the Agency for International Development, we have three of my Navy stewards; my personal physician, Dr. Connie Mariano; and, of course, the executive with the Export-Import Bank, a long-time friend of yours, Mr. President, Maria Louisa Haley. We're all glad to be here, but those with roots here in the Philippines are the happiest of all to be home. You have made us all feel at home, and we thank you for that.

We have worked together in many ways over a long period of time. President Ramos just described the 50th observation of our partnership in the second world war. I have heard a very moving account of the events of last October from Secretary of Defense Perry and General Shalikashvili. General Ramos' Philippine soldiers also fought side by side with Americans in Korea and in Vietnam. And you were there, sir, in both conflicts. We thank you for that individually, and for your country.

During the Cold War, the United States led an effort to stand against the tyranny of communism. You were our partner then. In the last several years, you have led the world in the sweeping resurgence of democracy, beginning eight years ago when you and others exposed yourselves to considerable risks to stand up for freedom here in your own country; following through with the remarkable People Power Movement of President Aquino, where people held flowers in the face of tanks and captured the imagination of the entire world.

And now, sir, under your leadership we see the Philippines moving forward, respecting the dignity, the rights of all people, and aggressively pursuing a modern economic program designed to bring prosperity to all the tens of millions of people who call these wonderful islands their home.

You know, President Ramos is a fitting leader for this time. We know in America that in 1946 -- he doesn't look that old -- (laughter) -- but, in 1946, he won the only Filipino scholarship to the United States Military Academy. I met several others of you who graduated from West Point here today, and all of you know that when one graduates from West Point, he -- and now she -- becomes a member of the Long Gray Line, linked forever with all of those who went before and all of those who will come after.

Well, Mr. President, you symbolize the link between our two nations, which is equally as strong and will always exist. We are linked by our history, we are linked by the populations that we share: the Americans here, the Filipinos there. But, most of all, we are linked by our shared values, our devotion to freedom, to democracy, to prosperity and to peace.

And for that common devotion, I ask all of you to stand and join me in a toast to President and Mrs. Ramos: To all the people of the Philippines. To their health, to their prosperity and to their eternal partnership with the United States.

(A toast is offered.)

END3:42 P.M. (L)