Davao International Airport, Davao City
September 10, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived at 12:55 am at the Davao International Airport bearing good news after his participation in the recently concluded 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits in Lao PDR and a working v1isit in Indonesia.

“In both trips, we were focused on our objective: To advance the national interests of the Philippines and the Filipinos in the regional and world community,” he said.

According to the President, among the issues he raised with other ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners include the growing concerns of Filipinos over the maritime developments in the West Philippine Sea and the need to come up with rules-based approached in dealing with peaceful settlement on disputes that are in accordance with the international law and UNCLOS.

He also urged other leaders to double on cooperative efforts in dealing with terrorism and violent extremism in the region, as well as cooperation in combatting the illegal drug trade.

“I said our campaign against illegal drugs will be relentless as it will be comprehensive — encompassing suppression, prosecution and rehabilitation… I called on greater cooperation in the region, particularly in capacity building and law enforcements efforts,” he said.

On meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the President said they agreed to work closely towards greater peace, progress and prosperity for our people.

“This includes interdicting piracy and lawless elements at sea, fostering greater economic cooperation and integration, and enforcing laws and building capacities to address the illegal trade and other criminal acts,” the President added.

On his final note, the President reiterated, “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. We will observe and insist—I repeat, I insist – on the time-honored principles of sovereign equality, non-interference and commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes to best serve our people and protect the interests of our country.”

The ASEAN chairmanship was successfully turned over to the country for the 2017 hosting and coinciding with the organization’s 50th anniversary. The Philippines will carry the theme, “Partnering for change, engaging the world.”

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