Press Briefing of PCO Secretary Martin Andanar with Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Presidential Peace Adviser Jess Dureza
National Convention Center, Vientiane, Laos
06 September 2016
SEC. ANDANAR: Good morning. This is a press statement from the Philippine government. President Duterte today affirmed that he continues to value the alliance with the United States, noting that both our countries share common goals and their pursuit of the war against drugs, terrorists, crime, and poverty.

He also thank President Obama for the United States’ firm support for the Philippines during the G20, where President Obama emphasized the importance for China to abide by it’s obligations under International Law, and underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to the security of its treaty allies.

Both delegations however, have agreed that in the light of the issues that still need to be worked on, the bilateral meeting between the two nations will be postponed to later date.

President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would lecture him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments which in turn elicited concern. He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy.

While asserting the intent to chart an independent foreign policy and promote closer ties with our nations, he expresses deep regret, deep regard, and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between our nations.

The President looks forward to ironing out differences, arising out of the national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries. Duterte stressed that in securing and preserving the rights and liberties of our people, it is imperative that the fight against illegal drugs, terrorists, crimes and poverty must be won in order to preserve the principle and values upon which our democratic way of life is anchored.

Thank you.

We will now have the Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella.

SPOKESPERSON ERNESTO ABELLA: This is a personal statement coming from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. [Excuse me please]

Alright. Again let me repeat. This is a statement from the President, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte:

The meeting between the United States and the Philippines has been mutually agreed upon to be moved to a later date. All the immediate cause was my strong comments certain press questions that elicited concern and distress.

We also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US President. Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy by promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the US, with which we have had a longstanding partnership.

We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries.

End of statement. Thank you.


Q: Sir is he apologizing?

SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: He certainly says that he regrets what has happened.

SEC. ANDANAR: We will now have Secretary Jess Dureza to answers questions.(Excuse me.)

SEC. DUREZA: Yes, go ahead

SEC. ANDANAR: We will now have Secretary Jess Dureza to answers questions.

SEC. DUREZA: Let’s limit the question—the statements..the statements are very clear. The President’s statement had been read accurately.

Q: Sir, postponed to what date? I mean, how later?

SEC. DUREZA: There is no specific date yet and when it will it be postponed.

Q: But are we- did we already request for new bilateral meeting with the US?

SEC. DUREZA: There is no such thing yet. The statement is very clear, it is being moved to a later date. So let’s wait on that date to be announced.

Q: In Laos or in?

SEC. DUREZA: Nothing specific yet, so…

Q: Sir about the meeting with Lee?

SEC. DUREZA: I have no information about that.

Q: Is there an apology?

SEC. DUREZA: No, you read the statement and you take it as a guess. Okay.

Q: Is it possible to meet in the Philippines at a later date? 
SEC. DUREZA: Yes, yes of course.

Q: Sir, how did they convey the cancellation? I mean, how did they say the notice of…

SEC. DUREZA: We don’t want to talk about the details here. Let stick first to the statement. It’s read in toto by our Spokesperson Ernie and the Philippine government’s statement has been also by our Press Secretary. So let that be.

Q: Later on we’ll mutually agree to a next meeting?

SEC. DUREZA: There is no date yet for certain, so we’ll make the announcement at the proper time.

Q: Is it mutually agreed?

SEC. DUREZA: the statement was very clear

Q: What are the points to be ironed out?

SEC. DUREZA: Could you please first refer to the statement and then at a later time we will give you some more details. Salamat.

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