PH-Vietnam bilateral talks tackle rice imports, Abu Sayyaf
SINGAPORE — Vietnam promised to supply quality rice for the Philippines and Manila reciprocated by assuring Hanoi that its forces will go after the Abu Sayyaf which to this day holds captive Vietnamese sailors.
These were among the issues discussed during the bilateral meeting between President Duterte and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the sidelines of the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders’ summit here.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the two leaders talked about the purchase of rice and that Vietnam reiterated its “willingness to supply quality rice to the Philippines.”
The two leaders also talked about the Vietnamese fishermen caught illegally fishing in Philippine waters. Roque said President Duterte told his Vietnamese counterpart that the issue of illegal fishing was a small matter as he noted that the ocean can provide many fish for harvesting.
“The Vietnamese prime minister thanked (the President), especially when he learned that the President himself sent home the last freed Vietnamese fishermen,” Roque said at a news briefing.
For his part, the Chief Executive thanked Vietnam for treating well 3,800 Filipinos working there.
Roque also said the President appealed for humanitarian assistance for Capt. Romel Aleria who has been detained in Vietnam since 2016 for alleged illegal cross-border transfer of goods.
“The President also said he will not stop running after the Abu Sayyaf who kidnapped and continues to hold Vietnamese sailors. He promised he won’t stop until the Abu Sayyaf is wiped out,” Roque also said.
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