Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II, Pasay City
November 9, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte laid out his agenda for his visit to Thailand and subsequently to Malaysia in a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II.

“I leave today for Bangkok to pay respects to King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a true friend of the Philippines. He will be remembered for his dedicated efforts to foster goodwill and friendship between our nations and peoples… He truly deserves a special place in history,” he said.

After the President’s visit to Thailand, he will proceed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as part of his introductory visits to neighboring countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The focus of my visit would be to strengthen the Philippines’ partnership with Malaysia for security and stability,” President Duterte said.

According to the President, foremost in the security and stability agenda is the maritime security and the fight against piracy at sea. He added, “As maritime nations, we both have a stake in ensuring that our waterways are secure and that criminal and terrorist elements do not use our seas to undertake illegal activities.”

The President also brought up his administration’s war against illegal drugs, saying, “This menace knows no boundaries and cooperation between our nations is vital in order to address this problem.”

He spoke as well about Malaysia’s role in pursuing just and lasting peace in Mindanao. “In my talk with the Prime Minister, I shall seek Malaysia’s continued support for the peace process in Southern Philippines,” he said. He added that the Bangsamoro transition document would be discussed in a meeting with Malaysia’s officials.

President Duterte also talked about economic cooperation between the two countries. He said that he will be asking for “support for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) to spur Mindanao growth,” and that he will also identify other opportunities for broader collaboration with Malaysia.

Likewise, the President will be visiting the Filipino community in Malaysia. He said, “Their interests are at the core of our visit to Kuala Lumpur.”

He also spoke about seeking Malaysia’s support as the Philippines chairs the ASEAN in 2017.

He finished his speech by saying, “My guiding principle in all engagements would be the protection of the national interests. We will be unflagging in our effort to pursue our independent foreign policy consistent with the provision of our Constitution.”

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