DFA clarifies President Duterte’s absence in the ASEAN-UN Summit

Joniel Monton

 

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shares a light moment with Malaysia Prime Minister Rajib Nazak Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, and Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen prior to the start of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit Plenary at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was not able to preside the ASEAN-United Nations Summit because of bilateral meetings.

The summit was scheduled at 8:15 Monday night but because schedule of events was hours late, the ASEAN-UN Summit started past 11 in the evening coinciding with the bilateral meetings of the chief executive.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) acting spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said President Duterte had a series of bilateral meetings with other chief executives of Japan, Republic of Korea, India and Russia.

Bolivar said it was decided that Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano would represent the President in the ASEAN-UN Summit.

This was also the explanation of Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.

Meanwhile, a US-Philippines joint statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs after the bilateral meeting of President Duterte and US President Donald Trump mentioned that both leaders condemn the unlawful nuclear weapons and missile development of North Korea.

Both sides also underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential and to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs.

Meanwhile, President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe witnessed the exchange of notes between the Philippine and Japanese agencies on the Metro Manila Subway Project, Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase 3 and other agreements on economic and social development program

President Duterte also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  The two leaders want to enhance the bilateral cooperation on trade, business, and culture.

President Duterte also invited Prime Minister Modi to encourage Indian investors to invest in cheap but effective medicines in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, President Duterte thanked South Korea President Moon Jae-in because of South Korea’s support to Philippines products such as personal care products, seafoods, clothing, chemical and electronic products

He also convinced South Korea to invest in the Philippines in the sector of manufacturing, automotive, food production, processing, agribusiness, electronics and energy. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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