DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte was sent-off to Vientiane of the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos for the 28th and 29th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) where he is expected to push a drug-free ASEAN community and other issues that impact on the peace, security, stability and prosperity of the region.
Citing recent incidents that wrecked havoc in the society, Duterte said, “we will remain firm in our resolve to combat terrorism in various forms and manifestations. He said he will use the ASEAN summit as an opportunity in meeting other ASEAN leaders, hold dialogue about curbing terrorism and violent extremism which has become a global concern.
The Philippines will do its part as a member of the international community and as a partner to address the issues, he said.
Duterte, who is leading a 30-member delegation to Laos PDR on a chartered Philippine Airlines flight from Davao, took off at past 5 p.m. from Davao International Airport. He was sent off by Cabinet members led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Army and police officials.
At the Summit, Duterte said the Philippines will take every opportunity to discuss global issues that affect the ASEAN community such as security.
He said the security hinges on cooperation of ASEAN-member states as-well-as dialogue partners. He said he would push for a drug-free ASEAN community. He would also underscore the importance of the rule of law and the interest of the people of community building. He will also highlight the importance of strengthening the ASEAN community against transnational crimes such as trafficking and extremism.
At the economic front, Duterte he would discuss an inclusive economic growth and stress its benefits must be felt by every Filipino through strengthening of connectivity, enhancing trade and the importance of small micro and medium industries and conserving and sustaining the growth environment and socio-economic aspects such as access to education, opening opportunities for all including the youth.
The President also vowed to continue work for the protection of the migrant workers, push capacity building to improve disaster response and management.
Duterte is also honored to accept the chairmanship of the ASEAN in 2017 from Laos that will formally mark an important leadership role as the ASEAN commemorates the golden year of the regional cooperation.