Duterte to join ASEAN Summit meetings virtually

Published October 25, 2021, 4:20 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Malacañang confirmed on Monday, Oct. 25 the virtual participation of President Duterte in the 38th and 39th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

“Dadalo po ang ating Presidente (Our President will take part in the Summit) via Zoom or computer hook-up from Oct. 26 to 28,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told Palace reporters during a virtual press conference.

“So as usual po, regular naman po itong mga ASEAN Summit (these are regular meetings of the ASEAN Summit)–uunahin muna po ‘yung ASEAN Summit tapos magkakaroon ng (the first will be the ASEAN Summit followed by the) ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-China, ASEAN-US, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Australia, ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN-India, ASEAN-Russia tapos ‘yung (and then the) closing ceremony,” he said.

The back-to-back Summits will be held between Oct. 26 and 28 in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei.

Roque, who conducted the presser while in the United States (US), said it will be known “in the coming days” what declarations President Duterte will pursue in the meetings.

“The President will be joined by key Cabinet members, including the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry and Social Welfare and Development, who are responsible for the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars of ASEAN cooperation,” Malacañang said in a subsequent statement Monday night.

“President Duterte will exchange views with his counterparts on the region’s COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) and recovery efforts, ASEAN Community Building initiatives and regional and international developments,” it added.

Carrying the theme, “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, the twin Summits are expected to adopt “more than 20 outcome documents on various issues of key concern”.

The virtual participation of heads of state in international events became commonplace following the emergence of the deadly COVID-19 in 2020.

Last September, the Philippine leader addressed the first day of the High-Level General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via taped message.