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From left, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Theresa Whelan; U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, Jr.; Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto; U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo; and U.S. Congressman Robert Scott toast to Philippine Independence and the enduring alliance and close friendship between the Philippines and the United States held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on June 8, 2017.


WASHINGTON — “This year’s theme, Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin, reminds us that the noble task of nation-building is on our shoulders. Our independence and sovereignty demands no less. May we all be reminded that the challenge for the next generation is to honor, cherish and safeguard the very freedoms that our forefathers valiantly fought for and gave their lives in heroic sacrifice,” said Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, CDA, in his opening remarks at a reception held at the Chancery Annex Building on June 8, 2017, in commemoration of the 119th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

More than 160 guests representing the U.S. Government, foreign diplomatic missions, business sector and the Filipino community took part in the celebration.

Filipino-American tenor Allan Palacios-Chan performed the Philippine and U.S. national anthems.

Mr. Chuasoto highlighted the country’s bright development prospects that are anchored on the comprehensive and inclusive policy agenda of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

He further underlined the Philippines’ independent foreign policy, which has always been guided by paramount considerations such as national sovereignty and territorial integrity, national interest and national security, the right to self-determination, and the protection and the promotion of the welfare of the Filipino people.

“As a member of good standing in the international community and in pursuit of its national objectives, the Philippines seeks fruitful partnerships with other countries, based on mutual respect, understanding and benefit. We seek friendships based on shared interests, but not at the expense of any one country. We seek to build more bridges, to strengthen old valued partnerships and at the same time strengthen new relationships and build new partnerships,” he emphasized.

The occasion also served to reaffirm the strong and steadfast bond between the Philippines and the United States, both within the bilateral and ASEAN frameworks.


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From left, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State W. Patrick Murphy; U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense David Helvey; U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Theresa Whelan; U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, Jr.; Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto; U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo; and U.S. Congressman Robert Scott at the Philippine Independence Day celebration.


“The United States has also been an enduring and reliable ally of the Philippines. The United States is our only treaty ally. The Philippines is also the United States’ oldest ally in Asia. Our friendship is decades long, reinforced by an alliance that continues to stand strong whether in good or challenging times,” Mr. Chuasoto stated.

The guest of honor, Mr. Thomas Shannon, Jr., U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, echoed the sentiment by describing Philippines-U.S. ties to be “almost a family relationship.”

“What we have in common — what our shared history had given us — is a common set of core values: democracy, economic openness, rule of law, and determined defense of our sovereignty and liberty. As we have been for over a half-century, the U.S. and Filipino peoples are united in our commitment to building a safe, secure and prosperous Asia-Pacific region and wider world,” Mr. Shannon remarked.

He added, “The Philippines and the United States are on the same team — allies — and though the challenges we face may be great — terrorism, drugs, illiteracy, poverty — our teamwork and partnership will help us stay on the winning side. With a growing economy and strong commitment to democracy and its institutions, the future looks bright for the Philippines. We are proud to stand by the Philippines as teammates, partners and family.”


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Ambassadors and high-ranking officials from ASEAN Embassies attend the Philippine Independence Day celebration.


Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), Co-chair of the U.S.-Philippines Friendship Caucus; and Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), focused their remarks on the contributions of Filipino-Americans to the strengthening of the social fabric of the United States, and on the role of the Philippines in securing peace, stability and progress for the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. Chuasoto concluded the program by toasting to the success and prosperity of the heads of state and peoples of the Philippines and the United States, and to the enduring alliance between the two countries.

He was joined onstage by Representatives Scott and Bordallo, Undersecretary Shannon, and U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Theresa Whelan.


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Over 160 guests from the United States Government, foreign diplomatic corps, private sector and the Filipino-American community attended the Philippine Independence Day celebration.


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Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.’s family photo during the commemoration of the 119th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Philippine Embassy Chancery.

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