Bongbong Marcos arrives in Indonesia for Asean Summit
LABUAN BAJO—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday to attend the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit where member states were expected to discuss key issues facing the region, including the situation in Myanmar and developments in the South China Sea.
In his third trip in a span of just two weeks and his 13th since he assumed office on June 30 last year, Mr. Marcos was accompanied by several Cabinet members, House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Senior Deputy House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He will join other Asean leaders at the Meruorah Hotel on Wednesday for the Asean Leaders’ Summit.
In his departure speech at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, the President said he would “promote and protect” the country’s interest during the regional summit, including the government’s efforts toward economic growth, attaining food and energy security, promoting trade and investment, combating transnational crimes such as trafficking in persons, and protecting migrant workers in crisis situations, among others.
“The leaders of Asean will also exchange views on pressing issues of common concerns such as developments in the South China Sea, the situation in Myanmar, and major power rivalries, amongst others,” he added. Mr. Marcos said he was looking forward to “productive engagements” with other Asean leaders “in the face of the challenges that we have to answer, not only as single nations, but as this political aggrupation that is Asean.”
He expressed optimism in joining the regional summit, saying “there seems to be a very clear area of commonality” among member states.
“And that is why it is very important that we go and continue to discuss amongst other Asean leaders of all the member states on how we can maximize and find that extra energy, that synergy from our working together,” he said.
Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo, during the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here in Labuan Bajo, said in his readout that the regional bloc must ensure the resolution to the Myanmar crisis.
Mr. Marcos is scheduled as well to attend the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area Summit on Thursday, May 11. INQ