Bush to land in Clark Field, not Manila

It seems that President Arroyo would want to make history on the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Pampanga by choosing it to be the landing area of US President George W. Bush when he arrives on October 18.

In a statement Malacaņang said President Bush on Air Force One will land at the airport, named after Mrs. Arroyo's father, President Diosdado Macapagal. From there, he will be transferred to Marine One -- the US presidential helicopter -- to take him directly to Malacaņang.

Marine One, an olive-green SH-3 Sea King helicopter converted for VIP use, was flown to the Philippines in a C-5B Galaxy transport plane.

The Palace said local authorities are making preparations to ensure the safety of the US President.

Although there are no official arrangements for Bush to stay in the area even for a few minutes, the president of Clark Development Corp., Emmanuel Angles, and Supt. Carmen Trinida, chief of the CDC Security Force, have been making some preparations.

They include tightening security measures at the DMIA and possible briefing for Bush in a still undisclosed place at the Clark Special Economic Zone.

During the briefing, Bush is expected to talk about the development of the former air base of the 13th Air Force, the largest US military base outside the US mainland, which was abandoned by the Americans in June 1991.

The Americans, composed of the US 5th Cavalry Regiment, arrived in Pampanga on September 1, 1902, and established Fort Stotsenburg in a 7,700-acre area in Sapangbato, Angles City.

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said local authorities are mobilized to thwart any untoward incident during Bush's eight-hour-visit.
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