King Bhumibol guided Thailand as one of Asia’s most progressive – Palace
MANILA — Malacañang paid tribute to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday night, calling him the “guiding hand behind the emergence of Thailand as one of the most progressive countries in the whole of Asia.”
President Duterte, on behalf of the Filipino people, extended the Philippines’ condolences to the Thais and the loved ones of King Bhumibol who passed away at age 88.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, who read President Duterte’s statement, said the late King Bhumibol was “not only the world’s longest reigning monarch but also the guiding hand behind the emergence of Thailand as one of the most progressive countries in the whole of Asia.”
“We are well aware that King Bhumibol was well-loved and held in utmost respect and veneration by the Thai people and by those whose lives he had touched during his lifetime,” he said.
Abella conveyed the country’s best wishes to Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who would now assume the duties and responsibilities as Thailand’s new king.
“We are certain that as the country’s titular leader and guiding light, he will be able to enhance Thailand’s stature in the region and help the country achieve lasting peace and continued economic and social progress in the years ahead,” he said.
“On behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Filipino people, we join the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in mourning the passing of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej,” Abella said.
“We extend our deepest condolences to his family and all those he left behind,” he also said.
In a TV interview, Philippine ambassador to Thailand Mary Jo Aragon expressed her condolences to the people of Thailand in behalf of the Philippine government.
She remarked that the Philippines’ good relations with Thailand, started when diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1949, and these relations have lasted almost as long as King Bhumibol’s reign, which started in 1946. King Bhumibol was 18 years old then when he ascended the throne following the death of his brother King Ananda Mahidol on June 9, 1946.
Aragon recalled that King Bhumibol visited the country in July, 1963 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned Thailand for 70 years, has been receiving treatment at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok for numerous ailments related to old age before his passing.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the succession of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to the throne.
Chan-ocha also announced a one-year period of mourning and the month-long prohibition on any government event. SFM