Press Release
February 3, 2009

Chiz gets chance to meet Barack in Washington;
dialogue with US and international leaders

Los Angeles, USA -- Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero arrived here on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) on his way to Washington to attend the 57th National Prayer Breakfast organized by US congressional leaders in Washington D.C.

"I hope to be able to get the chance to say hello to President Obama," the senator said before he left Monday night for the United States. The only Filipino lawmaker attending the event, Escudero filed a leave of absence with the Senate to be able to participate in the yearly gathering.

The annual four-day event, which begins on February 3 and ends on February 6, will be attended by officials of the US government and invited guests from 160 countries and will be highlighted by an address of President Obama on February 5 at the Hilton Washington - a tradition started by US President Dwight Eisenhower.

"I am deeply honored to be invited to this prestigious event, especially at this time when world leaders are crafting solutions to address today's momentous challenges," he said. Escudero was invited last October by organizers of the event.

Apart from the main breakfast meeting graced by Obama, Escudero will also attend a luncheon for international leaders on the same day. The gathering, which has been held every first Thursday of February since 1953, is expected to include several heads of state.

Last year, six heads of state attended the 2008 National Prayer Breakfast, together with members of the EU parliament, US and foreign business leaders, and missionaries from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

"We all know how events elsewhere in the world have affected the Philippines. That is why this occasion offers so much opportunity for productive interaction among state leaders. Guided by prayer, we can set aside our differences, confer with one another to find ways to solve problems that threaten our common future," Escudero said.

Among the international leaders who have been invited to the event were the rock star and philantrophist Bono, the late Mother Teresa of India, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Escudero returns to Manila on February 9.

News Latest News Feed