Pre-Departure Briefing of Department of Foreign Affairs’ Assistant Secretary Charles Jose on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Visit to Malaysia
Press Briefing Room, New Executive Bldg, Malacañang
07 November 2016

ASEC. JOSE: Good morning to everyone. I would like to brief you on the President’s forthcoming visit to Malaysia. 

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will travel to Malaysia on November 9 and 10, 2016 as part of his introductory visits to countries in the Southeast Asian region. 

The President is expected to hold bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Dato Sri Mohammad Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak in Kuala Lumpur. 

A gathering with the Filipino community in Malaysia ias also expected.

The Philippines looks upon Malaysia, both as a brother nation and as a dependable partner, not only bilaterally but also within the larger context of the BIMP-EAGA and our beloved ASEAN Community.

The Philippines and Malaysia have had frequent exchanges of officials at all levels.

Malaysia is the Philippines 10th largest trading partner in 2015 and is the second largest investor among all ASEAN countries in the Philippines.

Malaysia has played a constructive role in helping bring peace and stability to Southern Philippines and the two countries are cooperating to confront transnational concerns among other issues.

As two of the founding members of ASEAN, the Philippines and Malaysia share a commitment to uphold ASEAN values in the region. 

The visit hopes to further deepen Philippine-Malaysia ties for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their people.


Maricel Halili (TV 5): Sir, good morning. What particular issues do we expect to be discussed on the bilateral meeting?

ASEC. JOSE: On the, among the bilateral issues, of course, we expect discussion to focus on economic cooperation.

It may also include the security cooperation including Malaysia’s role in the GPH-MILF peace process.

Discussion could also include security issues in the Sulu-Sulawesi seas, counter-terrorism, the Philippines chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017. These are the issues that could be discussed during the bilateral meeting.

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning. Sir can we expect the Sabah claim to be brought up?

ASEC. JOSE: Well, I cannot say ‘no. It may or it may not be raised. But, in any case, if it is raised by either side, I’m sure our President will be prepared to discuss this issue.

Ms. Salaverria: Has there been a request not to table the issue because… kasi Malaysia earlier issued a warning, that you know, the Philippines should just focus on peace in… the Mindanao peace process rather than pursuing the Sabah claim. So was there a request not to table the issue during this visit?

ASEC. JOSE: None as far as I know.

Benjie Liwanag (DZBB): Good morning sir. Sir, nagsalita kasi si MILF– MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari last week about Malaysia, especially doon sa kidnapping and ano. Will this not affect the visit of the President Duterte in Malaysia?

ASEC. JOSE: Well, to begin, Nur Misuari does not speak for the government ‘no. What he said was his personal opinion, but in any case we note what the Armed Forces of Philippines said that they will look into, into this ‘no, what Nur Misuari said. So, I think that’s as far that I can go.

Mr. Liwanag: Will the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF be with the President in this trip to Malaysia? Will there be any representative from MILF that will be coming with the President?

ASEC. JOSE: Members of the official delegation only come from the government, the Cabinet and members of Senate, I think.

Mr. Liwanag: Yes. And how about business personalities?

ASEC. JOSE: Because there will be no meetings ‘no with the business and there will be no business agreements to be signed ‘no. I’m not aware if there will be business people going with the President on this trip.

Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much sir. 

Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): Asec. good morning. Sir, sino-sinong mga kasama ng Pangulo na mga opisyal ng gobyerno kung meron po tayo, kung anong department?

ASEC. JOSE: Well, of course the Secretary of Foreign Affairs will be there and as far as I know Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will also be there and well the rest ‘no.

I think the usual members of the Cabinet that go with the President will also be going this time.

Ted Tuvera (Daily Tribune): Sir, good morning. Sir just last week, there were reports saying that the Malaysian government has signed deals with Chinese government. Will President Duterte also discuss with the Malaysian government prospects of how ASEAN will relate with China?

ASEC. JOSE: Well, there’s a common ASEAN position ‘no when it comes to relations with China and there is a mechanism within ASEAN that deals with this, the ASEAN Plus One, in this case ASEAN Plus China and also the ASEAN Plus Three.

So there are existing mechanisms ‘no on how ASEAN deals with China in the various areas of cooperation.

Mr. Ganibe: Sir, follow-up lang. Sir paano pong pagtanggap ng Malaysian government kay Pangulong Duterte dito sa kanyang pagbisita? Alam natin naunang nagpahayag ang Pangulo ng kanyang tinawag na separation from the US and then after a week narinig natin si Malaysian Prime Minister na halos ganon din ‘yung kanyang binanggit, parang may pagkakapareho sila. Paano po ‘yung relasyon ngayon?

ASEC JOSE: Well, I don’t know if they are in the coordination ‘no but what I can say is that countries act on their national interest ‘no. Though countries adopt policies which they think could be, would serve best ‘no their country and their people.

JP Bencito (Manila Standard): Hi sir. Good morning. Sir would the issue of the Sabah claim by the Sulu Sultanate be raised by the President in this visit to Malaysia and meron na pong bang agenda discussions on how will it be pursued? Thank you sir.

ASEC JOSE: I think the question of the Sabah was already raised earlier ‘no and I have already given my answer.

Mr. Bencito:  Thank you.

SOURCE: PND – Transcriber