Arrival Statement of President Corazon Aquino at the White House

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Arrival Statement of President Corazon C. Aquino:
At the White House

[Delivered on November 8, 1989]


President Aquino arrives in the United States full of hope that her country will achieve economic recovery and sustainable economic growth, with the help of friends. She hopes to discuss and explore ways by which the Philippines and the United States can cooperate to their mutual economic benefit. She will also renew her acquaintance with some members of the Congress, meet with officials of the International Monetary Fund, and renew contact with Filipino communities in the US.

Three years ago, I came to Washington as the head of a country reeling from two decades of misrule. With its economy just beginning to stir back to life, I stood here nonetheless, as the representative of the Filipino people, with a great deal of pride. For the Philippines had recovered its freedom and had become again a member in good standing, alongside the United States, in the club of democracies. It is true that authoritarian governments can be proud and often are excessively, but not their countries. Only free nations can truly feel pride.

Today, I stand here with a great deal of hope – hope for the full economic recovery of my country; a recovery that is well on its way to becoming sustainable economic growth, with some help from our friends.

I come to Washington at the invitation of President George Bush. With him and with Vice President Dan Quayle, State Secretary James Baker, Treasury Secretary Nicolas Brady, and other officials, I hope to discuss a wide variety of issues affecting Philippine-American relations in line with the United States’ long efforts to maintain stability, foster peace, encourage freedom, and uplift the living standards of peoples throughout the world. We will raise particularly the means by which the Philippines and the United States can cooperate in more areas to our mutual economic benefit. We shall explore the means to increase trade between two countries with long historic ties and deep cultural affinities. We shall do these things so that, by the economic improvement of the one, these two oldest allies in Asia can be stronger together.

These issues will not be easily or quickly resolved. But it is good, for the sake of a friendship that we would want to deepen further, to begin their discussion with face to face meetings, the establishment of personal rapport, and an affirmation of the values that we shall never compromise and ever uphold.

While in Washington, I also expect to renew my acquaintance with various members of the Congress that received me so warmly on my first visit. And to get down to serious discussions with the officials of the International Monetary Fund. And, equally important, I shall be renewing contacts with the Filipino communities in the cities I shall visit; for they represent in the most vivid way for Americans the other side of the longest standing alliance for peace in the Pacific.

Source: Presidential Museum and Library

Aquino, C. C. (1989). Speeches of President Corazon C. Aquino : August – December 1989. [Manila : Office of the President of the Philippines].