DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, March 27, welcomed His Excellency Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Central Committee, together with other Chinese delegates through a courtesy call at the Matina Enclaves.
“I would like to welcome you warmly, and I’d like to tell you that we are very happy with your visit,” the Chief Executive said to Minister Song Tao.
The Chinese Minister and the President discussed issues that would further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
They have also discussed matters of mutual interest, especially on the subject of the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea.
President Duterte also clarified the case filed by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court, noting that the administration had no participation in such activity. However, he said, the Philippines is a democratic country. Therefore, “we cannot stop people from just filing cases.”
The President also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for the “vibrant trade relationship” between the Philippines and China. Then, he underscored the relentless support of the Chinese government to the Build Build Build Program of the Duterte administration to beef up the nation’s infrastructure development.
On the other hand, Chinese Minister Song Tao reciprocated President Duterte’s kind words, and said, “If there will be a need of assistance in improving the people’s lives, China is willing to help.”
Song Tao also added that they are looking forward to welcoming President Duterte to China for a visit next month.
Accompanying Minister Song Tao during the courtesy call were Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, other officials of the IDCPC, and Office of the Consulate General in Davao Consul General Li Lin.
Also present were Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Ernesto Abella, DFA-Mindanao Assistant Secretary Norman Garibay, DFA-ASPAC Executive Director Josel Ignacio, and DFA Principal Assistant Emilio Lopue Jr. ###PND