President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomed Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in Malacañan Palace
on Friday, April 28, where the two leaders agreed to further strengthen cooperation on areas of mutual
interest.Widodo, who is also in the country to attend the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Summit, arrived in Malacañan Palace at 3:50 p.m. He was received by President Duterte and was accorded
full military honors.
He was ushered to the Reception Hall for the ceremonial signing of the guestbook then immediately
proceeded to his bilateral meeting with President Duterte.
The two leaders then witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture and the
Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Sea Connectivity between Davao, General Santos Southern
Mindanao and Bitung North Sulawesi.
The joint declaration will encourage the establishment of direct sea connectivity between the cities
involved, the designation of their ports for this purpose, regular consultation, and undertaking measures to
ensure that certain safety standards are met.
On Sunday, the two leaders will officially launch the Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) sea linkage which aims to
facilitate trade and movement of goods between the Philippines and Indonesia.
On the other hand, the MOU on Agricultural Cooperation aims to strengthen the development of both
countries’ agricultural sectors through cooperation on agricultural research, mutual consultation and
In a joint press statement, Duterte said he had productive discussions with the Indonesian leader.
“We reaffirmed the importance of our bilateral relations and signified our resolve to sustain the momentum
of all our engagements, particularly in defense and security, trade and investments, agriculture, and sub-
regional development connectivity,” he said.
According to Duterte, they both recognized the need to address traditional and emerging threats and
expressed readiness to step up cooperation against terrorism, violent extremism, piracy at sea and
transnational crimes, including the trade of illicit drugs.
They also agreed to use the bilateral mechanisms and trilateral arrangements to help secure the vital
waters in the region.
Duterte expressed gratitude for Indonesia’s sustained support for the peace process in the southern
Philippines, noting that with Indonesia’s assistance and other friends, the country is hopeful of turning the
potentials of Mindanao into reality.
He added that in pursuit of just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao, the two leaders sought
to strengthen the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA)
to bring progress where they are needed most.
For his part, Widodo said they agreed to elevate cooperation in various areas such as politics, economy,
maritime security, and people-to-people exchange.
According to Widodo, they also agreed to conclude the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) agreement
ratification this year and encourage for an immediate conclusion of the Continental Shelf Delineation.
The two leaders also concurred to conduct a joint working group on counter-terrorism this year expanding
the 2014 MOU on Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and strengthen intelligence information cooperation.
The Indonesian leader further noted that his country will continue encouraging Indonesian companies to
participate in the retail sectors and infrastructure development especially of plans to build road and
railways in the Philippines.
President Duterte then hosted a state banquet in honor of Widodo and his spouse Madame Iriana Widodo
at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace on Friday evening.
The guests, composed mainly of government officials and diplomats, enjoyed smoked salmon roses with
horseradish, cream of potato zucchini soup, seabass fillet grilled set on paella rice cake and sansrival
Filipino artists Jett Pangan, Jay Cayuca, Ballet Philippines, and the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra provided
In his toast, President Duterte underscored the deep and long lasting friendship between the countries
saying that the Philippines considers Indonesia “a family.”
He also wished for the greater cooperation and stronger ties and for the good health and well-being of
Widodo and his spouse.
For his part, Widodo said he and President Duterte have so much in common, noting that they were both
mayors of medium-sized cities.
“I believe that you and I are not fancy people. I believe that you and I are driven by a healthy common
sense and by our love for our people,” he said.
Widodo said he is excited to visit Davao City on Sunday and to try its famous fruit durian.
“I was told that Davao is very famous for its delicious fruit like Davao durian. Sobrang masarap,” he said
eliciting applause from the crowd.
Widodo will be joining other nine leaders of ASEAN on Saturday, April 29, for their annual leaders’ meeting.
Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Indonesia were established in 1949. The two countries
signed a Treaty of Friendship on June 21, 1951. Both are founding members of ASEAN, a regional bloc
formed in 1967.
Indonesia is among the Philippines’ closest partners. The bilateral relationship is built on cooperation in a
multitude of areas, extensive social interactions and good fraternal relations between the two peoples.