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RECOMMENDED PGMA & SND REYES TALKING POINTS FOR SEC. POWELL 31 JULY 2002 RP-US relations have never been more robust since the post-bases era. Our leaders, therefore, must bear in mind that these relations are also at a critical juncture, with both governments trying to chart a stronger mutually beneficial relationship. Please find listed below the following vital issues on regional security, national security, & foreign policy that will be taken up to achieve this:

Powell Talking Points
• Powell will express the US government’s gratitude to RP and acknowledge the sacrifices of its people in the global war against terrorism. He will offer to help map out long-term counter-terrorist programs with the use of US aid. This cooperation, he will explain, will prove that RP is “a friend” and that the increase in military aid to RP is the US government’s way of expressing its appreciation of that support. Powell will ask the government to draw up clear and long-term plans for the utilization of the $55-M counter-terror aid granted to the RP by the US Congress from the recently-passed $28.9-B Supplemental Anti-Terror Budget (half of the amount will go to the Dept. of Defense). Powell could stress that both countries can’t have a 4-5 month exercise then stop and think of what to do next. He is looking at a military that can sustain itself. He is expected to formally propose expanded RP-US military and counter-terrorism operations Powell could ask for an explanation over the controversy generated by the draft MLSA because Washington was taken by surprise over the controversy. Powell will discuss the additional $25-M military aid that will granted to RP. As for MLSA & military aid, Powell could in effect say that all the money is now on the table. It’s time to see what RP has to offer. Powell could request the RP Congress’ passage of a strong anti-terrorism bill that will enable RP security officials to question suspects and to keep them behind bars. Powell could express that the US government is looking forward to working with DFA Sec. Ople and that they are relieved that PGMA has skillfully defused the situation with VP Guingona. Powell could clarify if RP officials will assert Manila’s rights to prosecute any captured leaders of the ASG despite Washington’s moves to indict 5 ASG bandits. State Prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron said, “If they will be arrested, we will insist that they will be tried first before they will be turned over to the U.S. Meanwhile, AFP Chief-of-Staff Cimatu said the 5 indicted ASG bandits will have to face charges filed against them in RP before any extradition process can begin. Amb. Ricciardone’s statement that RP was losing the economic race in Asia because of constitutional barriers to foreign investment, perceptions of widespread corruption, especially in the judiciary, & the lack of infrastructure. Powell could follow up on what reforms can be taken to address these.

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PGMA Talking Points
• Since 2001, the level of military aid granted by the US has increased significantly, PGMA can clarify: Is this an indication of more assistance from the US Congress in the future? What does the $80-M aid for 2002 entail? PGMA can state that the signing of the MLSA is a signal to the US Congress of RP’s willingness to cooperate/ to go the full distance on the operational side of the antiterror campaign. She can strongly claim that RP is the US’ best ally to show the world that ASEAN is supporting them optimally in their anti-terror campaign. PGMA can remind Powell that a new US engagement in the region should cover political, security, trade, economic, & development cooperation. The US can take steps to boost development cooperation and remove protectionist measures in trade. Washington can help in the economic front by making the US market serve as an engine for an export-driven growth. PGMA can ask for a briefing on the status between nuclear rivals India & Pakistan. There are reports that in the event of a nuclear exchange, fallout from the blast can affect RP in varying degrees depending on the time of the year and prevailing winds. The issue of the inhumane and undignified treatment of 60 deported illegal immigrants, workers, & felons from RP. She could ask Powell to deport them with their dignity intact in the future.

SND Talking Points
• SND should make it clear to Powell that the government is working to facilitate the implementation of the Mutual Defense Pact in order to bolster both the defenses of RP & the US. He can assure Powell that the process will make it for easier for US forces to operate in RP and for the AFP’s capability to be strengthened. SND can emphasize that the MLSA should only be a transition first step to strengthen further the Mutual Defense Pact, and the operations and interoperability of the AFP and the US Armed Forces. SND can offer AFP’s full support for the Joint Interagency Coordination Group for Counter Terrorism. Set up by the US Pacific Command, information gathered have allowed intelligence officials to choke off funding to terrorist groups and provided leads to their hideout. As with Powell’s bilateral counter-narcotic work with Thailand, so SND can suggest strengthening RP’s counter-narcotic capabilities because of the drug menace that threatens both RP and the US. RP used by China as main transhipment point of drugs to the US’ West Coast.

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SND & The Way Forward
• SND should discuss with Powell the status and the way ahead for continuing the robust relationship between the US & RP governments and their militaries. Specifically, he could take up the training of 2 companies of light reaction teams (crack anti-terrorism units) cooperation on surveillance and intelligence work, as well as night-flying exercises using helicopters. Manila has become a favorite jump-off point for terrorists bound for the US because of the lack of sophisticated monitoring equipment at RP airports. The US has recently assigned anti-terrorism experts to help the Bureau of Immigration monitor the movements of suspected terrorists entering & leaving RP. In this regard, SND can request for needed equipment such as high-speed computers and state-of-theart communications equipment to make it more difficult for terrorists to enter RP. SND can take up the matter of US assistance to map the undersea floor of the Kalayaan-Spratly Islands Group. The United Nations Conference on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) has given RP a deadline that is nearing soon. Failing to map our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will allow China and other neighboring claimants to strengthen their claim on these territories and to initiate hostile actions. The NDCP has material on this. He can cite the AFP report that China’s armed forces have fortified several islands in the Spratlys. In addition, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is in the process of modernization to build up its ground, air forces, and its navy. In fact, they could soon deploy a blue-water navy with an aircraft carrier. Intelligence sources say that the real budget of the PLA is triple the $30-B officially stated. Because the country is a good resource for other countries on how to deal with disaster, RP, with the help of the US, can leverage SAGIP exercises/seminars into something more profitable for RP. Other countries can learn and practice disaster responses and techniques at military bases for a fee. Better still, maybe the US can transfer technology and relocate related industries to RP so that its economy is strengthened. This echoes PGMA’s pitch for more economic cooperation from Washington. Citing Amb. Ricciardone’s complaints on why RP is losing out on investments, RP and the US could work out a mutually beneficial arrangement wherein RP’s industrial base is built up by setting up RP as the aircraft/ship/armor Repair-MaintenanceOverhaul hub for the region. In this way, various elements of the defense industries, which are now expensive to maintain in the US due to economies of scale and high wages, can be relocated to RP. SND can also suggest that the US can consider RP as the propaganda creation/production center for the region.

For your consideration.

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