Palace Expects Int’l Media to Swarm ‘Most Talked About’ Duterte at ASEAN Summit

Manila, the Philippines, 26 Dzulqa’dah 1437/28 August 2016 (MINA) – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to meet with other heads of states and to be swarmed by international media on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Laos next month, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said some leaders have expressed interest to hold bilateral talks with Duterte, whom he described as “the most talked about leader in ASEAN and in the world.”

“It will be the first opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with some of the (leaders of other) countries who have expressed interest in meeting our president,” Andanar said in an
interview with radio station dzRB.

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“We also know that President Duterte is the most talked about leader in ASEAN and in the world. We expect him to be swarmed by international media companies who want to talk to him,” he added.

Duterte’s war on drugs, which has been criticized for allegedly promoting extralegal killings, has been featured by several international media outlets including Time magazine, BBC and CNN. Duterte has denied that he is endorsing extrajudicial killings but has scored the United Nations, the United States and human rights advocates for supposedly meddling with his anti-drug campaign.

Duterte is scheduled to visit Brunei on Sept. 4 before proceeding to Laos to attend the ASEAN ummit from Sept. 5 to 7. He will then proceed to Indonesia for a two-day visit.

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“(The president) will be on a working visit, will perform bilateral talks with ASEAN (leaders) and will be visiting OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” Andanar said.

In a previous interview, Duterte said he would thank Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah for taking care of Filipino migrant workers.

During the ASEAN meet, Duterte will witness the turnover of ASEAN chairmanship to the Philippines, which will host the event next year.

The plight of overseas Filipino workers will also be an agenda of Duterte in his two-day visit to Indonesia from Sept. 8 to 9. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)