Aquino, Obama to connect


Two leaders can elevate RP-US ties


WASHINGTON, D.C.: Apparent president-elect Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd and US President Barack Obama will have a chance to move bilateral relations a “notch higher,” according to Director Walter Lohman of Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

Lohman told Filipino journalists Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) during a luncheon at the Heritage Foundation’s plush offices in the shadows of Capitol Hill here that Aquino and Obama have at least two important things in common.

Also at the meeting was Nick Zahn, director of the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press, the largest organization of the Asian media in the US and affiliated with the foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

First, Aquino and Obama won clear mandates on the promise of change, which sparked tremendous popular support, particularly among young voters.

And second, both are 50 years old and belong to the same new breed of leaders, which would make it easy for them to connect and foster the special relations between their two countries.

“Americans love [the late] President Cory Aquino,” said Lohman, one of the foremost Asia experts of the leading conservative think-tank in the US.

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