Alvarez to lead opening of Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will grace the 38th annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) legislatures on Friday (April 28).
Alvarez will deliver the opening remarks as president of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Aipa), which aims to promote closer cooperation among the parliaments of Asean member states.
The Speaker will welcome Aipa Secretary General Isra Sunthornvut and fellow lawmakers from Aipa member-parliaments and heads of delegations.
Alvarez is set to talk about the assembly’s objections to encourage close relations and cooperation among member parliaments.
Aipa’s theme this year is “Asean and Aipa: Partnering for Inclusive Change.”
The Speaker will also talk about the importance of a close working relationship between Asean and Aipa founded on three pillars: Asean Political-Security Community (APSC), Asean Economic Community (AEC), and Asean Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).
Among those expected to attned are Madame Pany Yathotou of the National Assembly of Lao PDR; Tan Datuk Seri Panglima Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia of the House of Representatives of Malaysia; Mahn Winn Khaing Thann of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and Amyoth Hlutaw of Myanmar; and Prof. Pornpetch Wichitcholchai of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand.
Deputy Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez will head the Philippine delegation, which includes Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin, Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Deputy Majority Leader Juan Pablo Bondoc, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, Pangasinan Rep. Rose Marie Arenas, Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Batangas Rep. Elenita Milagros Ermita-Buhain, Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap, Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo, Tawi Tawi Rep. Ruby Sahali and Secretary-General Atty. Cesar Strait Pareja as delegation advisor.
Alvarez will head discussions on the draft program of activities, as well as the draft Aipa message for adoption of the delegates.
Hernandez will assist in moving for the approval of the program of activities and Aipa Message, while Fariñas will act as the rapporteur.
Alvarez will then host dinner for the delegates at the Makati Ballroom.
The Aipa delegates will join the Interface Meeting of Asean Leaders with Aipa representatives on Saturday, to be attended by President Rodrigo Duterte who will deliver the opening remarks.
Alvarez is expected to deliver the Aipa message to the Asean heads of states.
The Philippines is host of the 30th Asean Summit which will run from April 26 to 29 in Manila. Duterte is this year’s ASEAN chair who will host the first of two annual meetings of ASEAN leaders on Saturday.
The permanent representatives to the Asean will meet today at the Philippine International Convention Center to tackle the work of the Asean community councils, Asean Sectoral Ministerial Bodies, Asean National Secretariats, other Asean Sectoral Ministerial Bodies, and Asean’s external partners.
The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) leaders and delegates will also have dinner at the City of Dreams Wednesday night.
The ASEAN Summit proper will begin Saturday, with the opening ceremonies and a signing ceremony on the Asean Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the Asean Community Vision 2025.
Duterte will chair the 30th Asean Summit Plenary and Retreat as well as the BIMP-EAGA Summit on April 29. He will host a Gala Dinner for the Leaders and delegates on that day.
Under the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” the Asean leaders will discuss progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Vision 2025, as well as Asean’S external relations and Asean’S future direction.
The Asean leaders have been urged to talk about the growing human rights crisis in the region, especially in light of the Duterte administration’s brutal war on drugs.
READ: Tackle ‘growing human rights crisis’ in the region, Asean urged | Duterte to get support for drug war in summit, observers say
The Asean leaders are also expected to tackle the crafting of a Code of Conduct to govern the actions of Asean member states and China in the South China Sea, where the countries have overlapping maritime claims.
it is not yet clear if Duterte, who cozied up its relations with China, will raise the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling favoring the Philippines’ maritime claims over the West Philippine Sea and invalidating China’s nine-dash line claiming most of the disputed waters. /atm
READ: PH, Asean urged to use UN ruling on sea row as legal reference | Asean urged to use arbitral ruling in code of conduct framework
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