Romulo Sees Bahrain PM, Appeals for RP Hostage on Arab TV

Manila Bulletin, November 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

Romulo Sees Bahrain PM, Appeals for RP Hostage on Arab TV


MANAMA, Bahrain (DFA) Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo yesterday called on His Highness, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, during which the two officials reiterated their commitment to stronger ties between the Philippines and Bahrain and ensuring the welfare and protection of Filipinos in Bahrain.

During their 50-minute dialogue, Khalifa asked Romulo to convey his best wishes to President Arroyo and his strong desire to further strengthen relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Philippines.

"The Prime Minister expressed a strong determination to strengthen our relations. He expressed eagerness to convene the first meeting of the RP-Bahrain Joint Commission, which will discuss in a comprehensive and precise manner, how best to strengthen our relations, particularly in the area of economic cooperation. Bahrain is the financial center of the Middle East and economic, trade and investment cooperation will be high on our agenda at the Joint Commission," the secretary said after meeting with Khalifa.

The Prime Minister also told Romulo that he is personally committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all Filipinos in Bahrain.

"I was deeply touched by the warmth, concern, and admiration with which the Prime Minister spoke of the Filipinos in Bahrain. He has, in fact, gone out of his way to provide humanitarian assistance to some of the Filipinos in Bahrain," the secretary said.

"The Prime Minister also showed a great interest in developments in the Philippines, which is a reflection of his high regard for the Filipinos in Bahrain," Romulo added.

He thanked the Khalifa for the role Bahrain played in obtaining the freedom of Angelo de la Cruz. "The Prime Minister said that Bahrain is always ready to help in such situations and said that he will personally exert every effort to secure the release of Robert Tarongoy," he added.

The Secretary was accompanied by Special Envoy to the Gulf States Ambassador Amable Aguiluz III and Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain, Ambassador Eduardo Maglaya.

Romulo on Al-Jazeera TV

DOHA, Qatar Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo aired an appeal yesterday for the safe release of Filipino national Robert Tarongoy who was abducted last week in Iraq.

Saying that it was his hope that "kindness and benevolence" would lead to the freedom of Tarongoy, the secretary appealed on the Arab TV network Al Jazeera for the hostages early and safe release so that he can "be reunited with his family and friends who miss him dearly."

Romulo stressed that Tarongoy is a civilian and not involved in any political or military activities in Iraq, saying that he "is an accountant and a family man."

While in the Al Jazeera studios, the secretary met with Al Jazeeras Managing Director Wadah Khanfar, Editor-in-Chief Achmad Al Sheik, head of International Relations Manal El-Hrisse and Filipino technician Rusty Avendano.

In his appeal, the Secretary said :

"Ramadan Kareem. I am here to make an appeal for the early and safe release of my countryman, Robert Tarongoy, who is an accountant and a family man. My appeal is in addition to the many others made on Roberts behalf and on behalf of his family."

"At this time of reflection, when we find in our hearts the true value of life, and where we hope to find kindness and benevolence in others, I would like to appeal for the early and safe release of my countryman, Robert Tarongoy, so that he may be reunited with his family and friends who love him and who miss him dearly."

Bahrain backs peace efforts

MANAMA, Bahrain Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo yesterday met with Bahraini Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaik Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa and received the full support of Shaik Mohammed for the efforts of the Philippine government to bring peace and progress to the Southern Philippines. …

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