Brunei Darussalam — President Rodrigo Duterte arrived here on Thursday, October 5, to attend the Golden Jubilee celebration of the accession to the throne of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
Upon arrival, the President was received by Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Meynardo Montealegre and Brunei’s Minister in Attendance, Energy Minister Pehin Yasmin.
President Duterte is in Brunei to personally convey his congratulations to His Majesty for the 50th year of his accession to the throne.
The President earlier said he considered Brunei as one of the Philippines’ “most valued friends and allies.”
He commended the Sultan of Brunei for his role in pursuing just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao.
Bilateral relations between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam, which was established in 1984, have continued to expand particularly in areas of political, economic, military and socio-cultural ties.
The recent exchanges of high-level visits between Duterte and His Majesty also indicated the strong and vibrant relationship between the two countries.
President Duterte embarked on a three-day state visit to Brunei in October last year. This was reciprocated by the Sultan of Brunei last April, where he met with Duterte in Malacañan and discussed measures to combat terrorism, violent extremism, piracy and illegal drug trade.
The two leaders also discussed matters on trade and investment, agriculture and development of halal industry in the Philippines.
The President is confirmed to attend the Royal Banquet Dinner on Friday at Istana Nurul Iman, which will be hosted by His Majesty for the heads of states, royalties, senior government officials and other foreign dignitaries attending the Golden Jubilee.
After the dinner, President Duterte and his delegation will return to Davao City.
Ambassador Montealegre said the President’s attendance to the Golden Jubilee is important to further boost bilateral relations between the Philippines and Brunei.
“The most significant aspect of the visit is to reinforce the strong bilateral ties we have with Brunei. This is a personal invitation extended by His Majesty The Sultan to the President so that shows the importance that the President attaches to the bilateral relations and to the personal relationship between him and His Majesty,” said Montealegre.
Part of the delegation of the President are Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
His Majesty Sultan Bolkiah is the 29th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. He became Crown Prince at the tender age of 15.
He ascended to the throne at the age of 21 on October 5, 1967 following the voluntary abdication of his father, Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien. ###PND