21 May 2014
President Benigno S. Aquino III hosted a dinner in honor of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the President’s Hall, Malacañan Palace.
The Prime Minister is on a two-day Working Visit to the country from 21-22 May 2014 and is set to participate in the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) being hosted by the Philippines.
In his remarks, President Aquino said that he is delighted to extend the same degree of hospitality that was accorded to him when he visited Vietnam to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in one of his first overseas trips as President of the Philippines.
“Then as now, you have expressed your sincere regard for the well-being of the many Filipinos who live productive, dignified lives in Vietnam. This kindness and concern for the Filipino people was also seen in the assistance extended by the government and people of Vietnam to the thousands of my countrymen who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as it is known to us,” the President stated.
He also reiterated the message he conveyed to the Vietnam leader and the rest of their colleagues in the recent ASEAN Summit in Myanmar regarding China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea.
“If an injustice is done to one, is it not true that it sets the stage for injustice done to all? Therefore, is it not our task, as leaders of ASEAN, to continue to find ways to strengthen our relations and build the mechanisms that will ensure fairness and justice throughout our region? The courage and strength that the government of Vietnam has demonstrated in protecting the interest of its people, despite the many challenges you face, have only been a source of inspiration for the peoples of ASEAN, as we work towards building a more secure, more prosperous, more equitable Southeast Asia,” President Aquino emphasized.