Andanar, Esperon work tight schedule at Trump inauguration

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2017 11:44 PM

Washington D.C. — Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. attended the inauguration of United States President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

"The invitation was given by the long-time friend of my grandfather, US-Philippines Society founding director Henry B. Howard," Andanar said, as he reiterated President Duterte's wish for the 45th US President.

"I wish the success of Mr. Donald Trump in the next four years as America's new chief executive. He looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law."

Earlier, Andanar and Esperon held a series of meetings with American officials and spoke before members of the Filipino-American media on the sidelines of Trump's inauguration.

Andanar faced the Filipino-American media during the cabinet officials' first stop in Los Angeles on Tuesday. He covered topics that ranged from the Philippines' hosting of the ASEAN Summit to more mundane ones such as how he spends his day.

Andanar and Esperon flew here Wednesday, where they met Patrick Chuasoto, the Philippine Embassy Charge d' Affaires, and Migrante Heritage Commission executive directors Jesse Gatchalian, Grace Divina Valera and lawyer Arnedo Valera.

On Thursday, the two Cabinet officials attended a breakfast meeting with the US Philippines Society headed by vice-chairman and former ambassador John Negroponte, president and retired ambassador John F. Maisto, executive director Hank Hendrickson, director Henry B. Howard, and director and former ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard. Andanar and Esperon briefed the group on Duterte's plans.

Andanar and Esperon later attended a roundtable discussion focusing on the Philippines' relationship with Southeast Asia.

They also met with US State Department officials. Present during the meeting were Chuasoto, assistant secretary Daniel R. Russel, and W. Patrick Murphy, deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Andanar and Esperon later proceeded to the Philippine Embassy for the US Reception Party to mark the inauguration of President Trump.