NAIA Terminal II, Pasay City
9 October 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III departed for Indonesia to attend the Bali Democracy Forum VII on October 10 where he will meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other Southeast Asian leaders to discuss several matters on the promotion of international cooperation in peace and democratic process.

In his speech, President Aquino said he will use the opportunity to thank the Republic of Indonesia, through President Yudhoyono, for the support it has given the Philippines over the years. The President also mentioned three of several issues in which Indonesia has actively participated. First is the negotiation between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), second is the on-going territorial dispute in the South China Sea, and third is the agreement of maritime boundaries between Philippines and Indonesia.

“Isa po itong modelo ng mahusay na pagsasara ng isang kumplikadong negosasyon, na nagawa ng dalawang bansang may pundasyon ng tiwala at respeto,” President Aquino said.

One of the highlights of the trip is the conferment of the “Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurnag” to President Aquino, the highest honor given by the country to an individual who contributed exemplary service to integrity and greatness of Indonesia. The President is the first Filipino to ever receive this award.

“Malinaw po sa akin na ang karangalang ito ay hindi lamang pagkilala sa mga nagawa ko bilang indibidwal, kundi pati na rin sa kolektibong pakikilahok ng bawat disenteng Pilipino upang isulong ang demokrasya,” President Aquino said.

Moreover, before he left, he stated that full attention must be given on the possible eruption of Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, Albay. He has instructed Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman to lead the coordination in catering to the needs of the Filipinos affected by it.

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