President Duterte to Skip ASEAN-Australia Summit This March

Duterte does not attend the ASEAN-Aussie Summit

Manila, Philippines, MINA — President Duterte will not attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit in Sydney next week due to pressing issues in Manila, Philstar reported, quoting Malacañang Monday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte “regrets that he will be unable to attend the ASEAN-Australia Summit” because there are matters that require the President’s presence at home.

“The President, however, considers the summit very important and has designated Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano as his special personal representative,” Roque stressed.

He said Cayetano’s special designation will help ensure that the Philippines continues to be engaged with ASEAN and Australia in advancing shared interests in the region.

The Philippine delegation will also assure the body that it is committed to moving forward the common agenda for greater security, stability and inclusive and sustainable development in the region.

Roque said Duterte prefers to address the graduating class of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) on March 18 to explain to them the great deal that they need to work on after they are dispatched for official duty.

He explained the President will attend the PMA graduation because he sees it “as an opportunity to dialogue with the younger military officers particularly on the manner by which the Philippine government and the military will deal with the problem of modern day terrorism.” (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)