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FEATURES/FilAm General/HumanRainbow/Sept. 17, 2004

GMA praises 3-star FilAm
general in US armed forces

MEETING one of the highest-ranking Filipino Americans in the history of America's military -- US Army Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano (photo) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could not hide her admiration for the first three-star Filipino general in the US armed forces.

gma-soriano"It's a great honor that you accepted my invitation to visit our country and we are honored to have a Filipino in the United States armed forces," the President told Soriano who was with his wife, Michelle, and Gen. Narciso Abaya, AFP chief of staff, with wife Susan during a call today (Sept. 17) in Malacanang.

Soriano was cited by US President George W. Bush when President Arroyo made a state visit to Washington last year as "one of those who bring pride to both countries in the cause of freedom."

Soriano is in the Philippines for a short vacation that includes a visit to his hometown Alcala in Pangasinan.

"Thank you for giving us a special place in your heart and congratulations for bringing honor to our fellow Filipinos," the President said.”

Soriano similarly expressed his admiration for the Chief Executive and commended her “exemplary achievements in the war against terror.

The President acknowledged his observation and attributed it to the cooperation of the armed forces.

She said: "So far, and we thank God, we have been spared from what had happened in the recent bombing in Jakarta. We have a very good intelligence network, they were able to catch the perpetrators, and disseminate information on the anti-terror campaign."

The President noted that five of the US soldiers who joined the previous RP-US military exercises in the country were Filipinos.

Soriano and his family moved to Salinas, California, s in the 1960s. He joined the Army in 1970 after graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in management. He completed the infantry-officer basic and advanced courses and attended the US Army Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College.

He holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. He has commanded units in Korea and Germany and US Army units in North California, Washington, Georgia, New York and Texas.

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Some 31,000 students, teachers and alumni of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines mass to form a human rainbow near the monument of national hero Jose P. Rizal at the Luneta in Manila. The rainbow is intended to promote the public school and boost its image while setting a world record for the largest human rainbow in the Guinness Book of World Records. The previous holderof the record, set in Malta and Hong Kong, used fewer than 12,000 persons.
(Agence France-Presse)

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