US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson paid a courtesy call on GMA Network Inc. Chairman and CEO Felipe L. Gozon on March 9, at the Kapuso Network’s headquarters in Quezon City.
With Ambassador Carlson were Press Attaché Kanishka Gangopadhyay and Press & Media Specialist Camille Conde. Meanwhile, Atty. Gozon was joined by GMA Executive Vice President and CFO Felipe Yalong, Senior Vice President for Entertainment Group Lilybeth Rasonable, First Vice President and Head of GMA Regional TV and Synergy, and Acting Head of GMA Integrated News Oliver Victor Amoroso and Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications Angela Javier Cruz. Award-winning broadcast journalist Pia Arcangel hosted the event.
Atty. Gozon welcomed the ambassador and emphasized the strong connection between the Philippines and the United States, “The relationship between the Philippines and the Filipinos and the American government and the Americans have been nothing short of rosy and harmonious.”
He also assured the diplomat of GMA’s cooperation with the U.S. Embassy. “Madam Ambassador, I hope your stint here in the Philippines will be characterized by nothing but success and on our part, we will be ready to help you in disseminating the information to the Filipinos,” Atty. Gozon added.
In response, Ambassador Carlson said, “From the bottom of my heart [and] from our team here, thank you.” She also recounted the long and strong partnership between the United States and the Network. “We already have quite a lot of collaboration with GMA, a number of the reporters here have gone to [the] United States on international visitor leadership programs specifically focused on journalistic practices and maintaining a free press and upholding standards in reporting so we have quite a longstanding record of great collaboration with GMA, but absolutely we look forward to even more.”
GMA Network is the first media organization to be visited by the US diplomat. Its multimedia news organization, GMA Integrated News, brings top-notch and comprehensive reportage across its TV, radio, and online platforms. “This is my first interview as well with a news agency so we are very grateful to have this opportunity and to underscore for our people the importance of a free press,” she said.
Ambassador Carlson commended GMA’s mission and commitment to truth-telling and accurate information. “Those are really important attributes of a democracy and we in the United States and I think everywhere around the world are struggling now with so much disinformation so it was a real honor to meet the team here and to see their commitment to free, open, press and honest reporting.”
Apart from the longstanding connection with GMA, the diplomat also shared some of the enduring projects between the Philippines and the United States. This includes the U.S. Peace Corps in the Philippines, the longest running program of its kind in the world; Fulbright, an international scholarship program celebrating its 75 years in the Philippines; and the American Chamber of Commerce, the oldest American chamber overseas, among others.
“There’s so many strong ties and our job is to continue to merit that confidence but also to underscore for future generations the enduring value of our friendship, of our alliance, of our partnership and we are grateful to partner with you at GMA in telling that story,” she said.
Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson was nominated by President Biden on February 2022 as Ambassador to the Philippines and was confirmed by the US Senate in May of the same year. She previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prior to this, she held the same position in New Delhi, India, and served as Principal Deputy Executive Secretary for the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.
CAPTION: U.S. Embassy Press & Media Specialist Camille Conde, Press Attaché Kanishka Gangopadhyay, US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson, GMA Network Chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon, Executive Vice President and CFO Felipe Yalong, Senior Vice President for Entertainment Group Lilybeth Rasonable, First Vice President and Head of GMA Regional TV and Synergy, and Acting Head of GMA Integrated News Oliver Victor Amoroso and Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications Angela Javier Cruz.