Duterte off to attend 34th ASEAN Summit

June 20, 2019
Sara Duterte & Martin Romualdez
ROMUALDEZ, SARA IN DAVAO — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (left) shares a light moment with candidate for Speaker and Leyte Congressman-elect Martin Romualdez (center) as well as Davao City businessman Sammy Uy during a short meeting at the French Baker Cafe at the SM Mall Lana in Davao City. Photo by VER NOVENO

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is set to push for closer regional cooperation on sustainable development and connectivity when he attends a summit in Thailand this weekend.

The President is scheduled to depart Davao City for Bangkok this afternoon to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on June 22 and June 23. This is Duterte’s third visit to Thailand since he assumed office in 2016.

Duterte will join other Southeast Asian leaders for summit talks that carry the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.”

“Our membership in ASEAN is very important to us because it is only in ASEAN that we partner with our closest neighbors in order to have sustainable growth and also to have peace and security in the region,” said Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West.

“Aside from sustainable growth, we also work with our partners in ASEAN in order to achieve — not to forget regional integration, community building within ASEAN and this is for the benefit of Filipinos and other ASEAN peoples,” she added.

Based on his tentative schedule, the President is set to meet with the chief executive officers of several Thai business companies tomorrow afternoon, before attending the regional summit activities.

Duterte and other Southeast Asian leaders are also scheduled to hold separate assemblies with the representatives of ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), representatives of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-ABAC), and representatives of ASEAN Youth.

Afterwards, Duterte will join the plenary session of the regional summit at the Athenee Hotel Grand Hall, followed by the gala dinner hosted by Thailand for the visiting regional leaders.

On Sunday, the ASEAN leaders’ summit will formally open with leaders expected to tackle regional economic integration, peace and stability concerns, among others. Duterte and other ASEAN leaders will convene anew for the summit retreat followed by lunch.

“The leaders will discuss ASEAN Community building under the theme: Advancing Partnership for Sustainability. And there