MANILA – The tremendous success of the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits has earned President Rodrigo Duterte respect as a “recognized leader” in the world community, Malacañang said Thursday.
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that owing to the successful hosting of the Philippines of the ASEAN Summit,” the world community now recognizes not only the fact that the Philippine President is not just a President of the Philippines, a leader of Southeast Asia, but a recognized leader in the international community.”
“And they have also given notice that the Philippines is able to competently host a meeting of this scale and scope. And the fact that there was no untoward incident proves that the Philippines is safe to visit,” he added.
The Palace official thanked the Filipino people for their cooperation in keeping the peace throughout the course of the Summit.
Roque said keeping the peace is vital in any major gathering of world leaders as any untoward incident would be an embarrassment to the host country and could have a negative impact in the tourism industry.
“All that could have happened was one explosion, even if no one was hurt, for us to have a major disaster in our hands. But thanks to the cooperation of the Filipino people, we averted such incidents,” he said.
“Now that all the guests are gone, there’s a sigh of relief that there was not one untoward incident. And the fact that there was no untoward incident proves that the Philippines is safe to visit,” Roque said.
“Congratulations to the rest of the Filipino people,” he added.
Meanwhile, Roque extended Malacañang’s apology to the people who were inconvenienced by the various measures put in place for the event.
“Siyempre po merong mga naabala lalong-lalo na doon sa closure ng EDSA, pasensya na po kayo. Ang naging kapalit naman ay ‘yung paghanga ng buong daigdig sa kakayahan ng bansang Pilipinas,” Roque said.