Powell Visit an Opportunity for the USA to Enlighten Further Its Allies about Its Policy on and Strategy against terrorism.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

UNITED States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's short visit to Manila en route home from an eightnation visit to Asia, and more immediately, after attending the ASEAN Regional Security Forum in Brunei has given him an opportunity to discuss further with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the US policy against terrorism, other dimensions of current US stances under the Bush Administration, and closer cooperation with the Philippines on the war against terrorism.

A plus factor in the evaluation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's performance as Chief Executive Officer of the Republic of the Philippines has been the strong measures she has taken against terrorism and separatism in the South. Her intentions to create "a strong Republic," and the achievement of the Administration thus far in restoring normalcy in the South, in reducing kidnaping, and in establishing a strong presence of the Government to ensure peace and order in the area have garnered approval points in recent surveys.

That this has been made possible partially through the joint Balikatan Exercises between the Armed Forces of the United States and of the Philippines, the training programs undertaken and continuing for our own counter-terrorism forces through the help of professional expertise from the United States, and the availability of military aid under the Visiting Forces Agreement, does not in any way diminish her accomplishments thus far. These recent measures of the Administration have made possible the growth of the Gross Domestic Product, the stability of the peso, and the low inflation rate, which have placed the economy on an even keel and created the conditions for continuing modest growth this coming year.

These solid accomplishments in the areas of the economy and internal security must balance any negative reactions sometimes resorted to by opposing sectors in our society, which seem to be on a counterproductive course of criticism, chronic dissatisfaction, and fault-finding. …