Obama visiting Philippines April 27-28: source

By Aurea Calica, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 04 2014 02:36 AM | Updated as of Apr 04 2014 10:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines - US President Barack Obama will be in the Philippines from April 27 to 28, a source said yesterday.

Obama is expected to arrive on the night of April 27 and conduct official activities the next day before leaving for another country, the source told The STAR.

There is no information yet on Obama’s official delegation and if he will be accompanied by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

The exact date of Obama’s visit will be officially announced jointly by Manila and Washington as part of diplomatic protocol.

The White House earlier said Obama’s trip was part of his commitment to increasing US engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

It said Obama would meet with President Aquino to highlight economic and security cooperation, including through the modernization of defense alliance, efforts to expand economic ties and spark economic growth through the “Partnership for Growth” and “through deep and enduring people-to-people ties.”

Obama has sought to rebalance US diplomatic and military resources toward Asia as China and other countries in the region gain clout and economic power.

Free-trade agreements and US defense treaties with Asian nations will also be on the agenda for the trip.

Last year, Obama canceled an Asia trip that included stops in Malaysia and the Philippines because of a US government shutdown.

The two countries are also negotiating increased rotational presence of US forces in the Philippines but officials cannot say whether the agreement will be signed during Obama’s visit.