Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
January 11, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte hosted the annual New Year’s Vin d’Honneur for the diplomatic community, heads of international organizations, Cabinet members, and the country’s government officials at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace.

In his message, the President expressed his gratitude to the diplomatic community, headed by Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the Papal Nuncio and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, for attending the reception. According to the President, the country is welcoming 2017 with hope for positive and meaningful change for the Philippines and the Filipino people.

“I vowed to address three basic evils that subjected my people, especially the poorest and the disenfranchised, to the most unbearable of burdens of slavery, for million – to drugs, corruption, criminality and a revolution of the south,” he said.

President Duterte stressed that he will remain true to the mandate given to him, and that his administration would remain firm in its resolve to hold the corrupt accountable for their deeds, and the criminals responsible for their actions.

Moreover, he said that the Philippines is also doing its part in addressing the challenges faced by the international community, particularly “the scourge of terrorism, natural and human-induced calamities, transnational crimes, hunger and poverty, and international disputes.”

“We value partners as we seek to strengthen existing friendships even as we pursue new ones. We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals… In a world that recognizes our interconnectedness and respects each other’s sovereign independence, the horizons and frontiers of cooperation are virtually limitless,” the President added.

He also mentioned the country’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, saying that this is a valuable opportunity for the Philippines to exercise leadership in advancing the region’s development agenda of forging a rules-based community that puts citizen’s welfare at the heart of every initiative.

President Duterte ended his message by proposing a toast to the Diplomatic Corps representing the community of nations, so that the Philippines’ relationships would continue to prosper for the greater benefit of its peoples; to his fellow servants in government, that they will be blessed with strength, steadfastness, passion, honesty, and integrity in serving the country and the Filipino people; and to his countrymen, that the citizenry will continue to carry the nation’s aspired vision towards a secured and developed Philippines.

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