By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
BALI, Indonesia—President Duterte arrived here Wednesday to participate in the one-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Gathering Thursday.
Duterte’s plane touched down at the Denpasar International Airport here at 9:09 p.m. He is greeted by Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, Philippine Ambassador Leehiong Wee, and Permanent Representative to the Philippine Mission to ASEAN ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso.
Joining Duterte in this trip are Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte will address the meeting and highlight the need to sustain inclusive and sustainable growth and development for all through stronger regional and global cooperation and greater security and stability.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Roque said that Duterte will meet with ASEAN leaders to discuss bilateral issues of mutual importance at the sidelines of the gathering.
Roque added that the Philippines is committed to actively participate and support ASEAN and ASEAN-centered efforts in order to advance shared aspirations for greater peace, progress and prosperity for the Southeast Asian region.
Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that President Duterte will highlight the government’s efforts to improve its performance in achieving ASEAN’s sustainable development goals.
The ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering proper will take place Thursday afternoon, which will be immediately followed by the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering Dinner in the evening. They will be joined by the IMF Managing Director, the World Bank President, the UN Secretary-General and the ASEAN Secretary-General.
Duterte will be joining the other leaders of ASEAN member states in showcasing ASEAN leadership and solid and intensifying cooperation in managing economic growth to create better prosperity and equity and in delivering meaningful progress in achieving ASEAN’s goals.
Wee earlier said that Duterte will discuss with Indonesian President Joko Widodo issues about security and peace and order in the region, especially in Mindanao.