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U.S. ‘touched’ by PHL decision to stand by its side

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Ceremonial Signing of Land Lease Agreement between PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PIA) and FDC Misamis Power Corporation at the President’s Hall, Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (April 17, 2013). The land is being leased for construction of a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) coal-fired power plant is expected to generate an initial 270-megawatts and targeted to operate early 2016. In photo are PIA administrator and vice chairman of the board Leo Tereso Magno and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. (Photo by: Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Ceremonial Signing of Land Lease Agreement between PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PIA) and FDC Misamis Power Corporation at the President’s Hall, Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (April 17, 2013). The land is being leased for construction of a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) coal-fired power plant is expected to generate an initial 270-megawatts and targeted to operate early 2016. In photo are PIA administrator and vice chairman of the board Leo Tereso Magno and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. (Photo by: Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

MANILA, Apr 17 (Mabuhay) – Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Manila Brian Goldbeck on Wednesday expressed his country’s appreciation of the Philippine commitment to stand-by with America should tensions with North Korea rise further.

“Now we know it’s a two way street. As (DFA) Secretary (Albert) Del Rosario has stated at the opening of ‘Balikatan’ (last April 5), we know you would come to our aid as well,” he added.

Goldbeck made this statement during the closing ceremonies of “Balikatan 2013” at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers Club in Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Wednesday.

Del Rosario earlier said the Philippines is obligated to help the U.S. if there is an attack on it.

“’Balikatan’ is (not) just any annual exercise between our countries. It’s a representation of our treaty and our alliance,” Goldbeck stressed.

He added that the annual military and humanitarian exercise is the U.S.’ commitment to the Filipino nation.

“We stand with you, by your side through national disasters and common threats such as transnational terrorism. It’s part of our shared oneness as two countries, but as people together in democratic values,” he pointed out.

Goldbeck also clarified that the U.S. has never left the Philippines and is prepared to assist the latter whenever needed.

“We have not left you since, we remain with you. Not just for an annual exercise, but whenever our partnership is truly needed,” he concluded. (MNS)

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