Fw: Travel pool report 5

From: Andrew BEATTY [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 03:01 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: Travel pool report 5

After a roughly seven minute trip along a wide bay-side street the motorcade pulled into Manila Harbor.

The route was largely empty except for a phalanx of Philippine police and the odd handful of onlookers gathered on building site scaffolding, or at crosswalks.

Your pooler could not see POTUS get out of the motorcade.

We gathered on shade-free Pier 13 as POTUS toured the BRP Gregorio del Pilar for around 10-15 minutes.

The 378-foot ship formerly belonged to the US Coast Guard and was acquired by the Philippines in 2011.

Once named the Hamilton, it now carries the name of the a Philippine hero who fought in the revolution against Spanish rule and in the Philippine-American war, when he was killed in 1899.

The slightly aging vessel is now the flagship of the Philippine Navy, operating missions around the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

POTUS, wearing a grey suit and dark tie, walked along the port side deck, shaking hands with sailors, before disembarking and delivering remarks to the pool, which will follow, but o give a taste he spoke about the US’ “ironclad” commitment to Philippines security and the “freedom of navigation”.

He announced the US would send two aditional ships – one research and another coast guard ship – to the Philippines.

POTUS also announced spending of around $250m over two years to help South East Asian countires maritime capibilities.

Watching the remarks were also the Philippines secretary of national defense, the defense chief of staff and, in the US delegation, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Josh Earnest, and Dan Kritenbrink.

At 2:59 pool is back in vans and rolling back to the hotel.

Andrew Beatty
White House Correspondent
AFP
@andrewbeatty

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