Joint Press Statement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Republic of the Philippines and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Sultan and Yan Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam
Reception Hall, Malacañan Palace
27 April 2017
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Good afternoon to everybody. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the members of his delegation, my co-workers in government, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I am saying good afternoon to you. [laughter] [crowd responds: good afternoon] That’s what I like about our media, Your Majesty.

I am pleased and honored to welcome back to Manila His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.

His Majesty’s visit has been most anticipated. You will recall that in October last year, I was invited by His Majesty to Brunei for a State Visit.

Our meeting was a success and our meeting today is equally successful.

We had productive discussions that showed the commitment of both sides to further broaden and deepen cooperation on many fronts. These build on our earlier discussions and agreements made in Brunei.

We recognize the importance of the ties that bind our nations and our peoples. With shared aspirations of achieving greater peace, progress and prosperity for our peoples, we agreed to further step up collaborative efforts to achieve common goals.

We welcome intensified interactions and exchange between our governments and resolve to utilize the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation or JCBC, mechanisms to chart future paths to review the progress that we have made.

These include waging a committed and principled campaign against terrorism, violent extremism and piracy at sea, peace and development in Mindanao remain a key area of convergence for Philippines and Brunei Darussalam.

As I recognize Brunei’s role in the peace process in the southern Philippines, I sought and received support for efforts to spur and sustain growth in Mindanao.

We support for a greater BIMP–EAGA, the sub-regional grouping that can be a model for connectivity and for bringing inclusive development to areas that most need growth to transform lives and communities.

Promoting culture remains vital in order to strengthen our identities and protect and promote the values and heritage we hold dear.

I am pleased today that we signed agreements on cultural cooperation and cooperation in Halal industry and Halal products and services.

These positive steps in the right direction, they provide the framework for us to work even more closely.

Of course, I express my thanks to His Majesty for the gracious hosting of Filipinos in Brunei. They are living symbols of friendship between our people and the special care and concern of His Majesty.

I look forward — and to secure the blessings of all ASEAN’s and His Majesty’s support for the Chairmanship of ASEAN is most crucial.

We will work together to ensure that the principled position for the peaceful resolution of disputes will be articulated fully.

This is a collective interest that must be upheld in the implementation of the Declaration of the Code of Conduct and greater progress on the Framework of Code of Conduct in South China Sea.

As we seek peace, stability and security in the vital waters of South China Sea, we must remember that we have duties as responsible members of the international community which we must abide.

Our talks today were open and insightful. Once again, His Majesty has demonstrated that he is a true friend of the Philippines. He deserves our utmost respect and admiration.

Thank you and good afternoon.

SULTAN BOLKIAH: Your Excellency, good afternoon everybody.

Your Excellency, President Rodrigo Duterte, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press.

Thank you, Mr. President for you kind remarks and generous hospitality in accommodating my visit during your busy preparation for the ASEAN Summit.

It is a pleasure to be back in the Philippines to further strengthen our close bilateral relations. Today, our meeting gave us an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest.

We reaffirm our close and long standing partnership in various areas of cooperation. Our defense links are closer than ever through our participation in the International Monitoring Team in southern Philippines. The ongoing peace initiative will promise a prosperous future for your people and have a far-reaching impact upon our region.

We also have a strong partnership through our people-to-people exchanges. This is underscored by the goodwill shown by the 23,000 Filipinos who are working and residing in our country.

We are grateful for their contributions and continue to welcome them as close friends.

On this note, we are also deepening our friendship by showcasing our arts and culture with the signing of the agreement on cultural cooperation. This will instill greater understanding particularly among our young generation on the customs and heritage that brings us together.

During this visit, we agreed to work closely in realizing the full potential of our economic cooperation. We agreed to explore opportunities in the emerging global market for Halal products and services.

On the Halal industry, we are interested to develop a partnership with the Philippines for investment and the production of Halal products.

On energy, we agreed to further enhance cooperation by exploring potential downstream and upstream activities.

We also look forward to our future collaboration in addressing issues on drugs. We believe that both sides will benefit from the exchanges of expertise and best practices in this area.

As close partners in ASEAN, we extend our full support for the Philippines ASEAN Chairmanship and look forward to a successful year under your leadership. We will continue working closely particularly as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN this year.

We will take this opportunity to reflect on our past achievements and share our views on the way forward for the future.

At the same time, we also look forward to further opportunities for closer cooperation under the BIMP-EAGA. As envisioned for 2025, it is important for us to develop a resilient and competitive sub-region. I am confident that under your chairmanship we will be able to achieve our common goals for BIMP-EAGA.

In closing, I thank President Duterte once again for hosting today’s meeting and look forward to fruitful discussion at the Summit.