Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, Pasay City
January 24, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered his speech before departing from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City to New Delhi, India via a Philippine Airlines chartered flight PR001 to attend India’s Republic Day celebration and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — India Commemorative Summit (AICS).

“The reason really why I am going is that we’re okay sa ASEAN. But it’s all trade and commerce, and everything else under the sun except that they do not have the platform for terrorism and order problems of law and order… I am glad that India is inviting us so that they can do something about the order allied problems of each other’s government,” the President said in his departure speech.

With the theme, ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny,’ the AICS is a culminating activity for the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN—India relations. Aside from the Summit, President Duterte is also slated to join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a bilateral meeting and shall witness the ceremonial exchange of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) on various areas of cooperation between the Philippines and India. He is also set to attend India’s Republic Day celebration together with his fellow leaders from the ASEAN Member States upon the country’s invitation.

Dialogue relations between the ASEAN and India started in 1992 until the latter became a full dialogue partner in 1995. India also takes part in different ASEAN-led activities and mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum, and the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus. Aside from being an ASEAN partner in bolstering regional peace and stability, India is one of the first non-ASEAN signatories to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

This is the first official visit of President Duterte to India during his administration.

Moreover, President Duterte talked on his order to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to stop the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait if another case of rape, suicide, or employers’ maltreatment to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will arise.

“Can I ask you now just to treat my countrymen as human beings with dignity. I do not want to fight with you. We need your help to improve our country. As a matter of fact, the incomes there, Filipinos contribute a lot to the GDP of the country,” he said.

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