Duterte vows to take PH-Korea brotherhood to greater heights

Published November 26, 2019, 7:46 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

BUSAN, South Korea – President Duterte commended how the Philippines and South Korea are intertwined like “blood brothers” as he vowed to take the 70-year diplomatic ties between the two countries to greater heights.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in pose for posterity prior to the start of their bilateral meeting at The Westin Chosun Busan Hotel on November 25, 2019. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in pose for posterity prior to the start of their bilateral meeting at The Westin Chosun Busan Hotel on November 25, 2019. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte made the statement during his bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in here at the sidelines of the 2019 Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit.

In his remarks, Duterte noted how both the Philippines and South Korea fought for their freedom almost at the same time.

“The Philippines and the Republic of Korea share a unique affinity. We became blood brothers in 1950s on the altar of freedom. In 1980, the world watched as we waged a parallel struggle for democracy,” he said.

Despite their economies taking different roads, President Duterte lauded how the two countries still managed to up their level of interactions and enjoy good cooperation.

“Our economies took diverging paths and fortunes. The Republic of Korea rose to become one of Asia’s economic and technological powerhouses. Ours faltered, but with perseverance, the Philippines has since recovered and is now [a] well-performing, emerging economy,” he said.

“The past seven years — decades have witnessed the level of our interaction rise. Our cooperation encompasses various spheres — from trade, investment, and ODA to infrastructure development, defense, science, technology, and agriculture,” he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte thanked Moon for Korea’s assistance during the series of earthquakes which rocked Mindanao early this month.

“Solidarity and mutual aide have been the hallmark of our ties since 1950. It touches us that this remains so. I thank your government for donating $100,000 for the earthquake victims in Mindanao last month,” he said.

“Clearly, at no other time in our shared history have the bonds [between] our people this strong,” he added.

In 2018, the South Korea was the Philippines’ fourth-largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to over $13 billion. It was also a valued source of foreign direct investments, ranking 13th in the same year.

This is Duterte’s second time visiting South Korea since becoming president in 2016. He first made a State Visit to Seoul in 2018 but his visit became controversial when he kissed a married Filipina on the lips when he met with members of the Filipino community there.

 
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