09 November 2016

Duterte off to a two-country swing
President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to strengthen the country’s partnership with Malaysia for security and stability, citing these as the foundations for the Philippines’ peace process, progress, and prosperity. 

In his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Chief Executive also noted that the most important on his agenda is maritime security and the fight against piracy at sea.

The President left for Bangkok, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Wednesday, November 9. He will pay his respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

“His Majesty, the King, was a true friend of the Philippines whose state visit in 1963 continues to resonate to this day,” he said.

He will be remembered for his dedicated efforts to foster goodwill and friendship between our nations and peoples,” the President said, adding that the King “truly deserves a special place in history.”

The President will then proceed to Kuala Lumpur for a two-day official visit as part of his introductory visits to Southeast Asian countries.

Duterte said he will meet with Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohammad Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak to “discuss ways of sustaining the growth of both our countries, ensuring peace and inclusive development for our peoples.”

He said he will seek Malaysia’s greater cooperation in the war against the illicit drug trade and continued support for the peace process in Southern Philippines.

“This menace knows no boundaries and cooperation between our nations is vital in order to address this problem,” Duterte said.

The Chief Executive noted that bilateral defense, security and law enforcement efforts should be seen as supporting both nations’ resolve to contribute to greater stability in Southeast Asia and in the larger region.

The President said he will also discuss the ways of intensifying two-way trade and investment as well as support for the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area to spur Mindanao growth.

“The two tracks of peace and prosperity have to be pursued to ensure that the development that we aim for will benefit all,” he said.

The President said he will also use the occasion to identify other opportunities for broader collaboration with Malaysia.

He said will ask for Malaysia’s full support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation chairmanship of the Philippines next year.

“I am hopeful that my visit will move further forward our common aspiration for our peoples, our nations and our region,” he said.

During his visit, the Chief Executive will meet the Filipino community in Malaysia, noting that “their interests are at the core of our visit to Kuala Lumpur. PND