Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. (left), US ambassador to the Philippines, and party arrive at the venue located within the CBS Studios Center in Studio City, California. Meeting him is publicist Ted Benito (to his left).
Ted Benito (right) introduces Ambassador Thomas to members of the Fil-Am media. A press conference was held separately before the main program. Others seated, from left: Cris Liban, JP Liban, Benel Se-Liban, the Ambassador and Carlyn Nuyda Calloway.
Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. addresses a gathering of Fil-Am community leaders and others.
The ambassador commented on some of the hot-button issues:
The US favors a consensual and peaceful resolution of the current Philippine-China conflict. However, the US supports the Asean position which is the Philippine position also.
The international court cannot make a binding decision unless both parties are in it.
On whether the US would come to defend the Philippines in case China attacks, he said they don’t deal with hypothetical situations.
The Obama administration thinks that President Noynoy Aquino is earnest in his “Walang kurap, walang mahirap” goal.
They are also pleased with Secretary Leila de Lima’s role in anti-human trafficking. But the government has to really go after corruption at Customs, Immigration, etc.
Outsourcing is not something they perceive with love but conceded that the Philippines is no. 1 in it.
However, they would be weary if the Philippines only rely on it.
Many in the Philippines have iPads but even important government offices lack computers.