Reception Hall, Malacañan Palace
March 7, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reaffirmed Malaysia as the Philippines’ steadfast ‘partner for progress and a brother for peace’ as the Chief Executive renewed stronger friendship and ties between the two Southeast Asian countries during the three-day Official Visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to the country.

In their joint press statements at the Malacañan Palace, President Duterte said that Prime Minister Mahathir’s visit not only improved the two countries’ existing bilateral relations, but it also paved the way for new paths of collaborative works and efforts.

“We resolve to ramp up cooperation to address security issues particularly on terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes including the fight against the illegal drug trade,” he said.

President Duterte said they shared views on different fields of cooperation including extensive economic cooperation, trade, investments, and infrastructure development.

The President also extended his gratitude to Prime Minister Mahathir for Malaysia’s robust support to the administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program. This includes the country’s active role in the development of the Clark Green City in Pampanga.

On the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) recently, President Duterte shared his sentiments with the Prime Minister regarding the great strives that the Philippines had achieved in securing just and lasting peace in Mindanao through the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Malaysia played a vital role in the peace talks that resulted to the region’s creation.

“The road leading to this historic transition to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region was paved in large part by the support of our international partners,” the President conveyed.

Furthermore, President Duterte asserted that the Philippines and Malaysia remain committed in their involvement in regional and multilateral platforms, particularly with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to advance the rule of law in the Southeast Asian region and beyond.