President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is set to visit Japan from October 29 to October 31 to discuss with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe matters of mutual interests to both countries.
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, October 26, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said President Duterte’s second visit to Japan is an evidence of the strong and deep bonds between the two countries.
Aside from Prime Minister Abe, President Duterte is also scheduled to meet other high-ranking Japanese government officials and influential captains of industry, Bolivar said.
He added that discussions are also expected to include regional developments, including peace and stability in the region, particularly in the Korean Peninsula.
Bolivar said among the Cabinet members who will be accompanying the President to Japan include DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and the economic team.
“We want to reinforce the Japan-Philippines economic partnership,” Bolivar said.
For his part, Deputy Chief of Mission Takehiro Kano said Japan is considering the way forward, particularly on how it can support the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City.
“So far, we have already provided some humanitarian assistance with the international organizations. But now, we are in a different phase. And then we are in close contact with the Philippine government,” he said.
“I think there are various kinds of needs of it such as the reconstruction of the communities or human resources and getting the people back to the communities and so forth. So based upon the needs assessment and information provided by the Philippine government, we are looking to what we can do,” he added.
NCRPO CHIEF ASSURES NO CLEAR AND IMMINENT DANGER FOR ASEAN HOSTING
In the same press briefing, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde said that intelligence monitoring shows that there is no clear or imminent danger on any planned terrorist attack that could disrupt the Philippines’ hosting of the 31st ASEAN Summit next month.
He however said that that government forces remain on guard against terrorist threats due to the possible retaliatory attacks from the threat groups supportive of the Maute-ISIS and possible isolated atrocities from the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“With this, we continue to strengthen our intelligence fusion with other agencies as well as our target-hardening measures and we continue to conduct joint exercises with other law enforcement agencies to ensure our readiness in any eventuality,” Albayalde said.
According to the NCRPO chief, Task Group Manila under his supervision is tasked to secure the venues, the routes, billets of the world leaders and delegates, and maintain public order during the duration of the ASEAN summit.
“We will be securing 16 hotels, five venues and the various routes where our delegates will be passing through,” he said.
Albayalde said a total of 33,086 police personnel will be deployed during the Summit. Some members of the police from Regions I to V, Cordillera, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will also augment the need for warm bodies for security purposes.
“Our send-off ceremony will be on November 5, that will also serve as the final accounting of personnel. And the full deployment of our contingents will be from November 10 to 15 or until the last delegate depart our country,” he said.
“We assure the public, both locally and internationally, that Metro Manila is safe and secured and is ready to receive our distinguished 22 foreign leaders and more or less 3,000 delegates who will be gracing our country for the 31st ASEAN Summit,” he added.
US President Trump to attend ASEAN Summit
In the same press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that US President Donald Trump is slated to arrive in the country on November 12.
Abella said the US President will join other heads of state in the Special Gala Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
He is also expected to attend the ASEAN-US Summit on November 13.
“US President Donald Trump has expressed his commitment to the Philippine-US alliance and his interest in developing a warm, working relationship with President Duterte, which was expressed during his telephone conversation with the Chief Executive,” Abella said. ###PND