MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 early Monday from Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar after attending the 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit over the weekend.
The President and members of the Philippine delegation arrived at about 1:05 a.m. Monday on board a Philippine Airlines flight.
There to welcome him were Speaker of the House Feliciano Belmonte, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, and Metro Manila Developmental Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino.
President Aquino gave an arrival speech, saying the trip was fruitful and the summit will strengthen growth in the region.
“Nabigyang-diin rin po ang kahalagahan ng pagkakaisa at hinahon sa pagharap sa mga isyung kaugnay ng seguridad, pangangalaga sa mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan, pagbabago ng klima, at teritoryo,” he said.
The President reported that the success of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was always mentioned during the summit.
“Isa po itong matingkad na patunay na gaano man katagal ang hidwaan, maaari itong matuldukan kung may pagtitiwala at kooperasyon sa pagitan ng bawat panig, at may kontekstong sumusuporta sa mapayapang diyalogo,” he said.
The Chief Executive also noted that all foreign ministers of the ASEAN member countries signed a joint statement expressing apprehension over what might happen as a result of the tension in the South China Sea.
He said the ministers called for respect and adherence to the principle of Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the disputed sea.
President Aquino also said he took the opportunity to “present to our ASEAN neighbors” the Philippine Memorial that was submitted to the arbitral tribunal of the United Nations regarding the Philippine claim over some islands in the West Philippine Sea, which is also claimed by China.
He further reported that the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have concretized their inter-connectivity.
“Halimbawa po nito ang naitatag na direct flight sa pagitan ng Kota Kinabalu at Puerto Princesa, at ang nabuong memorandum of agreement sa pagitan ng mga pribadong kompanya sa pagtatatag ng Davao-GenSan-Tahuna-Bitung shipping service. Sa tulong po nito ay mapapadali at mapapabilis ang pamumuhunan, kalakalan at turismo sa ating sub-region. Ang resulta po ay mas masiglang ekonomiya para sa mga kasaping bansa at mas maraming oportunidad para sa mga mamamayan,” said the President. (MNS)