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National Security Council to meet Aug. 27 on top issues confronting PH

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 10:02 PM July 24, 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte and National Security Adviser Hermoges Esperon Jr. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS)

President Rodrigo Duterte and National Security Adviser Hermoges Esperon Jr. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS)

(Note:  This story has been corrected to state that the National Security Council meeting was scheduled for August 27, 2016, not July 27, 2016, as reported in the original post.)

DAVAO CITY – The National Security Council is scheduled to meet on August 27, 2016, amid pressing issues confronting the country.

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Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza told reporters here late Saturday that the meeting was being arranged by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and that “all important issues confronting the nation will all be discussed.”

Dureza said “all living former presidents, heads of the different congressional levels, key officials of Malacañang’s security council and other leaders” have been invited to attend the meeting.

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It was not clear though if former President Benigno Aquino III will be attending the NSC meeting.

The NSC meeting will be held about a month after President Duterte is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry will be coming in from Vientiane between July 26 and 27, where he was scheduled to attend several meetings of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), during which, he would discuss the territorial disputes between some Asean members and China.

During the NSC meeting on August 27, the territorial row between the country and China over the West Philippine Sea is expected to be discussed.

“President Duterte will listen to the guidance, inputs, suggestions or recommendation of former presidents and other leaders of the government,” Dureza said.

Dureza said the Duterte administration would be crafting a set of guidelines that former President Fidel V. Ramos would be referring to in his future dealings with China over the West Philippine Sea issue.

“These are to be crafted and presented to him before he starts his actual mission to represent the country in this engagement with China,” he said.

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Dureza said initially, Mr. Duterte and Ramos discussed in general what the President would want to achieve in the talks with China “but these could not be publicly discussed yet.”

Mr. Duterte earlier said that he wanted the territorial row resolved diplomatically and that a joint venture with China could be among the solutions

He also said he would not give up the country’s sea rights in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea areas but he would want China to help in the country’s economic development.

“If we can have a settlement with them despite the arbitral judgment, I think that we will have many benefits,” he said during his visit to Buluan, Maguindanao on Friday.  SFM

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