Thomas visits Aquino at private residence

May 21, 2010 8:18 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, May 21 —Apparent President-elect Benigno Simeon Aquino III on Friday afternoon received U.S. ambassador Harry Thomas Jr at his private residence on Times St. in Philamlife Homes Subdivision in Quezon City, the first chief of foreign mission to personally congratulate him on his apparent win as the next President of the Philippines.

At the meeting, Thomas repeated the pronouncements on May 11–hours after initial results of the May 10 elections were announced–when the embassy was the first among foreign missions to give kudos to the Philippines for a generally smooth general elections .

In a text message to the Philippines News Agency, embassy spokesperson Rebecca Thompson said that Thomas told Aquino that “the U.S. looks forward to working with the new administration to deepen bilateral friendship and partnership and advance common goals for Southeast Asia and the world.”

The visit took place before Aquino is officially proclaimed the winner by the Joint Session of the Philippine Congress. With this awareness, Thompson said the “US respects the political process and will wait for the formal proclamation of elections results by Congress.”

Aquino has indicated that when he is installed at Malacanang, he would continue to live on Times Street.

Television footage of the visit quoted Thomas as saying it was a mere visit to congratulate Aquino on his victory that lasted about an hour.

A number of Liberal Party (LP) officials, including its president and Aquino’s running mate for Vice President, Manuel Roxas, and U.S. embassy officials were present during the visit.

Roxas is a personal friend of Thomas’s predecessor, Kristie Kenney, who attended his wedding. Kenney also attended the necrological rites in August for Aquino’s late mother.

Thomas arrived in the Philippines and presented his credentials to outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in late April. (PNA)

RMA/GJB

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