Myanmar’s Suu Kyi, Cambodia’s Hun Sen first to arrive in PH
CLARK FREEPORT — Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen were the first regional leaders to arrive for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Manila on Nov. 13-14.
Hun Sen’s aircraft landed around 1:30 pm on Saturday at Clark International Airport, about two hours later than his scheduled arrival. Cambodia’s longest serving prime minister was welcomed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Suu Kyi arrived about 30 minutes later and was welcomed by Lorenzana, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who is now a Pampanga representative, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Jerril Santos.
Cadets from the Philippine Military Academy provided military honors to both leaders, who were also welcomed by 1,400 dancing students from Pampanga and Bulacan.
The two leaders stayed overnight at the freeport where Arroyo hosted a dinner for the Cambodian prime minister. Details of Suu Kyi’s evening itinerary were not disclosed.
Suu Kyi and Hun Sen will be driven to Manila today.
Expected to arrive today, Sunday, are the other Asean leaders — Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Laos President Bounnhang Vorachith, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Leaders of the regional bloc’s dialogue partners, including US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will attend summit-related meetings.
President Duterte chairs the Asean summit this year.
Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Central Luzon police director, said they had received information that some activist groups were planning protest rallies outside the freeport.
“We’re ready. We’re monitoring threats to the security. Protesters might assemble outside Clark Freeport but we’ve prepared for that,” Corpus told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.
As many as 10,000 policemen and security personnel from 21 agencies have been deployed here, he said.
Security has been beefed up at all the gates of Clark, where authorities conduct random inspections at checkpoints.
As in Metro Manila, summit security measures have disrupted activities in the freeport and parts of central Luzon.
For instance, motorists driving through the Northern Luzon Expressway would be stopped to make way for an Asean delegation convoy heading to Manila.
Check out our Asean 2017 special site for important information and latest news on the 31st Asean Summit to be held in Manila on Nov. 13-15, 2017. Visit http://inquirer.net/asean-2017.
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