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Duterte off to Bangkok for 35th Asean Summit

/ 06:32 PM November 01, 2019

BANGKOK — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday flew to Thailand to attend the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit from November 2 to 4. 

Duterte left Davao City at 6:14 p.m. via a private plane to Bangkok. 

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The President is expected to raise the issue on the long-delayed code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea during the summit, foreign affairs Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West earlier said. 

READ: South China Sea Code of Conduct talks likely in Asean Summit – DFA official 

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Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping previously agreed to fast track the negotiations in finalizing the COC in the South China Sea.

Duterte is scheduled to attend the Asean Plenary Summit, Asean Plus Three Summit, and East Asia Summit where state leaders share their views regarding regional and international issues. 

The President is likewise expected to grace Asean’s one-on-one summits with China, India, United Nations, United States and Japan. 

Some major summit side events where Duterte is also anticipated to participate in are the Asean Business and Investment Summit, Mekong-Japan Summit Working Dinner, and the Indo-Pacific Business Forum.

Among the Cabinet members accompanying Duterte during his visit to Thailand are Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr., Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista.

The President has assigned Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to be the government’s caretaker while he is in Bangkok from November 1-4.

The 74-year old leader is attending the Asean Summit despite his doctor’s earlier advise to rest after he complained of “unbearable pain” following his motorcycle accident on October 16.

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Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President might implement “spacing” in his attendance to the summit’s “too punishing” schedule.

READ: Palace: Duterte to attend Asean Summit in Bangkok but with ‘spacing’

During the 33rd Asean Summit in Singapore on November 2018, Duterte had skipped some events as he took “power naps” because he needed to recharge.


Duterte left the country as Mindanao is reeling from three powerful quakes that killed at least 18 people and injured dozens.

Panelo, however, assured that even if the President is away “the Chief Executive remains on top of the situation monitoring the situation in the Philippines, especially the earthquake-hit areas of Mindanao.”


Duterte has already ordered government agencies to extend “immediate relief” to residents of areas affected by the earthquakes.

READ: Duterte safe after Mindanao quake, orders immediate relief operations

/kga

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