Duterte back from Thailand

June 24, 2019
34th Asean Summit
34th Asean Summit

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Manila on Sunday night after “productive discussions” with leaders of member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok, Thailand.

In a statement, Malacañang said at the ASEAN summit Duterte encouraged the US and China to resolve their differences as their trade war has an impact on global growth and economic integration.

He also “pressed ASEAN to strengthen its commitment to a rules-based multilateral trading system.”

Duterte also said the Philippines is committed to work with all parties regarding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as trade will be for the good of the underprivileged in ASEAN countries.

The President also said ASEAN needs to cooperate with each other more “to address non-traditional security threats, such as terrorism, violent extremism, transnational crimes, particularly illegal drugs, and climate change.”

He added that countries most responsible for climate change should be held accountable.

“The President also pushed for enhanced regional efforts to combat marine debris and prevent the export of garbage to ASEAN countries,” the statement read.

Duterte, as Country Coordinator of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, “expressed grave concern over activities in the South China Sea that erode trust and confidence and undermine peace, security, and stability in the region.”

He urged ASEAN and China to work on a substantive and effective Code of Conduct since “the faster we finish the process, the more credible ASEAN and China will be as partners for security and stability.”

Duterte also said international instruments such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) should be effectively implemented.

He also thanked the Vietnamese captain and crew who rescued Filipino fishermen in the waters off Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea earlier this month.

Duterte also called on ASEAN “to be the voice of reason and moderation in the region, protecting time-honored principles of international law.”

ASEAN leaders adopted four important documents during the Summit: the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability, the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019, and the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region.

Duterte also met with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, President Joko Widodo, and Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad at the 13th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit.

They committed to promote greater connectivity for smoother cross-border trade and to narrow the development gap in the sub-region.

“They likewise agreed to enhance military and police cooperation to effectively address terrorism and piracy in the high seas,” the Palace said.

Duterte also had a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo wherein they “lauded the completion of the two countries’ respective domestic requirements for the entry into force of the Philippines-Indonesia Agreement Concerning the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone Boundary. This landmark accord is an outstanding example of a peaceful and rules-based delimitation of maritime borders.”

The President also had a bilateral meeting with Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-Cha and congratulated the latter for a successful 34th ASEAN Summit.

Duterte also met with about 20 Thai CEOs and invited them to invest in areas outside Metro Manila such as the new industrial centers Clark, Cebu, Bohol, and Davao.