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New US ambassador to PH: We help friends in trouble

Posted On 2013 Dec 03
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Philippine soldiers walk near a military C-130 plane as they prepare to go to Tacloban city, at the Villamor Airbase, in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Four days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern Philippines, only a trickle of assistance has made it to affected communities. Authorities said at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the devastating typhoon.  (MNS photo)

Philippine soldiers walk near a military C-130 plane as they prepare to go to Tacloban city, at the Villamor Airbase, in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Four days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern Philippines, only a trickle of assistance has made it to affected communities. Authorities said at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the devastating typhoon. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — New United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg promised the US will also be at the forefront of the country’s rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda.

In his video message posted on the embassy’s website, Goldberg said: “My colleagues at the embassy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the US military are working hard in support of your government’s efforts. We will be there as you rebuild. As President Obama said, ‘When our friends are in trouble, America helps.’”

Goldberg said he comes at a time of “great challenge” but “we feel motivated by your spirit and impressed by your determination to rebuild lives and livelihoods in the tradition of ‘Damayan.’”

Goldberg has already arrived in the Philippines. He replaced former US Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr.

He was sworn in as envoy to the Philippines on November 21, 2003.

A statement from the US embassy said Goldberg served as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research starting June 2010. He also served concurrently as the Coordinator for Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1874 on North Korea.

Goldberg served as Ambassador to Bolivia (2006-2008), Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006), and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile (2001-2004). The Ambassador Designate is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, served from January-June 2001 as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. He came to that position after having been a senior member of the State Department team handling the transition from the Clinton to Bush Administrations.

In his video message, Goldberg said he is “honored to have the opportunity to help strengthen our relationship and see that it endures for many decades to come.”

Malacanang earlier thanked Philip Goldberg for helping the country in its relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Goldberg posted on his Twitter account an “unselfie” – where he covered his face with a note calling for donations and assistance for the victims of Yolanda.

Netizens lauded this move by Goldberg, whose appointment was earlier criticized. He was earlier expelled from Bolivia supposedly for conspiring in the unrest against President Evo Morales. (MNS)

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