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COVINGTON, Kentucky — Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cusia, Jr. said that “if we want the remarkable GDP growth of the Philippines to continue, it is imperative that we elect (in 2016) the right leaders.”

Cuisia made this comment in a remark he delivered at a Gala Dinner that capped the two-day Region 3 east conference of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) in Covington, Kentucky on July 31-Aug. 1, 2015.

The ambassador had earlier reported to the audience, composed of some 150 Filipinos and Filipino Americans, that President Aquino anointed Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas as the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party, the administration party, in the May 2016 elections.

He fell short of directly endorsing the presidential bid of Roxas, but said that for the Philippines to continue its high economic growth (6.3% GDP) achieved under the Aquino administration, the people should elect the right leaders.

Cuisia said that the Aquino government has done a tremendous job of improving the Philippine economy, noting that it is now No. 17 in the list of top world economies. It is projected, he said, that the Philippines will have a first-world economy by 2050.

The ambassador urged overseas Filipinos to vote in the Philippine elections next year, noting that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) now allows overseas Filipino citizens to vote by mail.

He also asked overseas Filipinos to visit the Philippines, reporting that Asian nations have declared 2015 as Visit Philippines Year.

Cusia likewise urged strong unity among Filipinos in the U.S. and thanked NaFFAA headed by Chairman J.T. Mallonga for its efforts to unify Filipinos.


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