PNoy Set For ASEAN Meeting In Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Marking his 14th foreign swing since he assumed office in 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III is set to arrive here today to attend the 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits.

Along with nine other ASEAN leaders, Aquino will attend the welcome dinner hosted by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Padei Techo Hun Sen, chairman of the 20th ASEAN Summit and Luk Chumteav Kattiprithbendit Bun Ray Hun Sen.

In his first overseas trip this year, the President is scheduled to depart Manila for Cambodia tonight at 8 o'clock after checking government security preparations for the Holy Week vacation.

He will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas, Mindanao Development Authority chair Luwalhati Antonino, and Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Aquino, who has kept his travel expenses low and official delegation small, will be joined by his entourage aboard a chartered plane.

As this year's ASEAN chairman, Cambodia has chosen the theme ''One Community, One Destiny.''

Tomorrow (April 3), Aquino will be joining Southeast Asian leaders in the opening ceremony of the Summit, which also celebrates the 45th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN.

The ASEAN leaders are expected to attend the plenary session after the 9:30 a.m. opening ceremony. They will discuss the following items on the agenda: the Phnom Penh declaration of ''ASEAN, One Community, One Destiny;'' the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Charter and roadmap for ASEAN community under the political security, economic and socio-cultural pillars; the progress of implementation of the master plan on ASEAN connectivity involving physical, institutional and people to people connectivity, realizing a drug-free ASEAN by 2015; and the adoption by ASEAN of the initiative of establishing a global movement of moderate.

On the same day, the President will rub elbows with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Representatives, the Civil Society Organizations Representatives, and the Youth Representatives. The Philippine-AIPA delegation will be composed of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and La Union Rep. Victor Ortega and the AIPA Secretary General, former Rep. Antonio Cuenco.

Tomorrow night, the President, along with nine other ASEAN leaders will also have a Royal Audience with His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia who will host a royal state banquet for them.

The ASEAN Leaders' Retreat on April 4, the last day of the Summit, marks the'' freewheeling discussion on issues of common interests,'' the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. Mr. Aquino is expected to tackle the West Philippine Sea issue and the Pyongyang's long-range missile test in his informal meeting with his fellow Southeast leaders.

Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Teresita Barsana said the President will continue to promote the country's interest in the West Philippine Sea amid the Cambodia's purported refusal to discuss the issue following its strong alliance with China.

The President will raise the issue in terms of the implementation of the Code of Conduct of State Parties in the South China Sea, citing the Manila's insistence to establish a ''zone of peace, friendship, freedom and cooperation (ZoPFFC)'' in the disputed islands.

The 10 ASEAN member-countries, including Philippines are tied up with the drafting of a formal code of conduct (CoC) in the West Philippine Sea.

The North Korea's rocket launch scheduled between April 12 and 16 will also be part of the President's agenda during the Leaders' Retreat. The DFA said there are about 60, 000 Filipinos in the Korean peninsula, 10,000 of whom are in North Korea.

Apart from maritime security, the President, during the summit, will also promote climate change and disaster risk reduction management, migrant workers' protection and welfare, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to strengthen the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and to contribute to regional efforts towards achieving the establishment of an ASEAN Community in 2015.

Barsana disclosed that the President, along with nine other ASEAN leaders will also have a Royal Audience with His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia.

After the concluding session of the ASEAN summit, the President will join Brunei's Sultan and yang Di-Pertuan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak in the 8th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit. The four leaders will tackle the core strategic thrusts of BIMP-EAGA within the next five years in the fields of enhanced transport, power and communication connectivity, food basket strategy in agri-business and fisheries development, tourism development and environment and natural resource development, according to Barsana.

Before his departure for Manila, Mr. Aquino is expected to meet with members of the Filipino community in Cambodia. There is an estimated 3,000 Filipinos in Cambodia, 2,000 of whom live in Phnom Penh and work in various fields in medicine, business and NGOs, Barsana said.

The ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration by the five founding members, including Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

In Manila, civil society and youth groups called on the ASEAN leaders to work together to abandon nuclear plans and invest in the region's renewable energy sources.

The groups, led by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Young Progressives of Southeast Asia (YPSEA), handed a petition to Dr. Seoung Ratchavy, Cambodia State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and chair of the ASEAN in behalf of Cambodia.

''Cambodia is chair of ASEAN and can set this imperative agenda. We want to see ASEAN leaders enhance cooperation and promote constructive climate and energy solutions,'' Kim Eng Yong, member of YPSEA-Cambodia and president of People Centre for Development and Peace (PDP-Centre), a Cambodia based organization, said.

''ASEAN leaders must learn from Fukushima. Nuclear reactors are fundamentally unsafe, and endanger lives and communities. A year after the catastrophe, people are unable to return to their homes and rebuild their lives - the risks of radioactivity persist for generations,'' Francis dela Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner, said.

A report by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council found that modern energy systems based on energy efficiency and renewable energy can easily replace nuclear power.

Current energy trends also show that renewable energy (RE) power plants has outstripped nuclear power, with RE accounting 26 percent of all new power plants added to the worldwide electricity grid in the past 10 years, compared to nuclear power stations representing just 2 percent of new installations in the same period. (With reports from Genalyn D. Kabiling and Ellalyn B. De Vera)


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack
    US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm in Seoul on Thursday by a lone, blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely from a deep wound on his right cheek and saw him rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable. Witnesses described how a man with a blade concealed in his right hand had lunged across a table at Lippert …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options