Obama, Clinton congratulate President-elect Aquino


Posted at Jun 10 2010 09:48 AM | Updated as of Jun 10 2010 06:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Philippine President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III after the latter's proclamation at the House of Representatives Wednesday.

In a press statement issued by the White House Office of the Press Secretary, Obama made a phone call to Aquino Thursday morning to congratulate him personally.

The US President hailed the May 10 Philippine elections as "a model of transparency and positive testament to the strength and vitality of democracy in the Philippines."

He also noted the "deep historic and people-to-people ties between the US and the Philippines and the two countries' strong cooperation on security and economic issues in the Asia Pacific region and globally."

The White House said the two leaders agreed to take the cooperation between the two countries to a new level and to meeting at a "mutually convenient" time. 

Aquino, son of democracy icons Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino and Corazon Aquino was proclaimed president in parliament after winning over 15.2 million votes, or nearly 42% of the total cast in the election. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also congratulated Aquino, saying the "successful election exemplified the vitality of the country's democratic institutions and should be a point of pride for Filipinos everywhere."

She added that "the Filipino people now look to President-elect Aquino to carry forward the democratic traditions that his parents did so much to champion."

On Wednesday US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. congratulated Aquino and Vice-President-elect Jejomar Binay. He said he was looking forward to working with the new Philippine government to advance common goals. 

“On behalf of the US Embassy, I congratulate President-elect Benigno Aquino III and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay on their victories in the May 10 election. We also congratulate the people of the Philippines for carrying out a successful first-ever national automated election," he said. 

"The United States and the Philippines share common values and common goals designed to make our world more secure and more prosperous.  We cooperate closely on regional security, counterterrorism, and in combating transnational crime, including the scourge of trafficking in persons. Our two governments work together to open markets, protect intellectual property rights, fight corruption, and encourage economic growth and development," he added.

Some 4 million Filipino-Americans are living in the United States while more than 100,000 Americans currently reside in the Philippines.

Meantime, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also extended his greetings to President Aquino through a letter.

“On behalf of the government and people of Canada, I am honored to congratulate Senator Aquino, President-elect of the Philippines," Harper said. 

Aside from the congratulatory message, Harper's letter highlighted the strong links between the Philippines and Canada, where more than 400,000 Filipinos reside.

"Canada looks forward to working closely with the new government of the Philippines in enhancing bilateral ties and in promoting common interests and shared values on the global stage." With AFP