WASHINGTON, DC, USA — 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 Friday, January 20 (Philippine Time).
The two Cabinet officials were at the US capital to witness the 58th Presidential Inauguration, with the theme “Uniquely American.”
“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-U.S. relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law.”
Earlier, Andanar and Esperon had a series of meetings with American officials and spoke before members of the Filipino-American media on the sidelines of the President Trump’s inauguration.
Andanar faced the Filipino-American media during the Cabinet officials’ first stop in Los Angeles last January 17. He was asked issues about President Rodrigo Duterte. Other topics covered were the hosting of the Philippines of the ASEAN Summit 2017 which coincided with its 50th Anniversary, and a day-in-the-life of the President Communications Chief, among others.
Andanar and Esperon Jr. headed on to Washington D.C. the following day, January 18, where they met Philippine Embassy Charge d’ Affaires in Washington D.C. Patrick Chuasoto and Migrante Heritage Commission Executive Directors Jesse Gatchalian, Grace Divina Valera and Atty. Arnedo Valera.
On their second day at the US capital, January 19, the two Cabinet officials had a breakfast meeting with the US Philippines Society (USPH) headed by former Ambassador and Vice Chairman 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 told the group the plans of President Duterte in the next five years of his administration.
Andanar and Esperon Jr. then attended the Center for Strategic and International Studies Roundtable Discussion on the South East Asia Program of the Philippines.
The two secretaries likewise had a meeting with US Department State officials where they discussed the plans of the Duterte administration on the new leadership of Trump. Present were Assistant Secretary Daniel R. Russel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South East Asia Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs W. Patrick Murphy and Philippine Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Patrick Chuasoto. Andanar and Esperon later proceeded to the Philippine Embassy for the US Reception Party to mark the Inauguration of President Trump. PNA-northboundasia.com