Cayetano meets with Filipino American SolGen Noel Francisco: ‘Deep friendship’

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Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (left) and U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco  in a September 28 meeting. Both officials are born to American mothers and Filipino fathers.

Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (left) and U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco at a September 28 meeting. Both officials are born to American mothers and Filipino fathers.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met with U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco on September 28 in Washington D.C., according to a statement from the Philippine Embassy.

Francisco, the highest ranking Filipino American in the Trump Administration, was raised in Oswego, New York by an American mother, Therese, and a Filipino father, Nemesio, who is a doctor.

The meeting with the Solicitor General is just one of several events Cayetano attended during his month-long visit to the U.S. He held town hall meetings with various community groups in Washington D.C. and New York and had discussions with them on Philippine-American issues.

“From my meeting with the first Filipino American Solicitor General of the United States, to my interaction with various FilCom groups throughout my visit, and to my conversations with the Filipino waiter at my hotel in Washington and the Filipina airline employee who assisted us at the Dulles Airport, it was clear that the Philippine diaspora is the foundation upon which were built over the years, the deep friendship and vital partnership between the Philippines and the United States, and their peoples,” said Cayetano in a statement issued by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on October 16.

He has since departed the United States amid growing criticisms about his prolonged visit. Cayetano arrived in the U.S. in late September. One of his first engagements was meeting with Fil-Am Press Club of New York on September 20. “Cayetano lingers in US,” cries a Philippine Daily Inquirer headline on his third week in the U.S.

Cayetano joined Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and other economic managers for the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

He also highlighted the importance of sharing the Philippine narrative with the American people, from the shared sacrifices of Filipino soldiers in World War II.

“In sharing our story with Americans, we will be able to affirm how our separate histories have been woven by the threads of our common experiences, our shared values, and our mutual commitment to development. And may we strive to ensure an enduring friendship between our two peoples,” Cayetano also said.

He likewise reminded the community that a very important aspect of the FilAm story is the culture.

“Culture transcends technology, time, distance, and place. Our culture and traditions go with Filipino families wherever they go. The Filipino diaspora and families overseas bring our time-honored traditions all around the world. Into households in Hong Kong, the churches of old Europe, tiny communities in Africa, and wherever else we find ourselves,” he said.

Before he became Solicitor General, Francisco is a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Jones Day, where he chaired the Government Regulation practice. Friends who knew him from Oswego described him as an “outstanding musician,” and “very smart and very funny.”
He takes over from Neal Katyal, who was acting Solicitor General under President Obama. As a young law graduate, Francisco clerked for then Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Texas Senator Ted Cruz described him as a “principled conservative.”

© 2017 The FilAm

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