Headlines Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Headlines ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Duterte returns from 'productive' Brunei trip

President Rodrigo Duterte breaks bread with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his wife Pengian Anak Saleha in the banquet during the golden jubilee celebration of the Sultan's accession to the throne at the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei Darussalam on Oct. 6, 2017. PPD/Ace Morandante 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte returned from a “productive” visit to Brunei on Saturday that underscored the two countries’ friendship, Malacañang said.

Duterte on Thursday evening left for an overnight visit to Brunei to attend the 50th anniversary of accession to the throne of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

READ: Rody in Brunei ready for Bolkiah party

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte thanked Bolkiah for his “principled” commitment to the “pursuit of just and lasting peace and development” in Mindanao, Duterte’s home region.

To recall, the Sultanate had recently promised to help in developing Mindanao, which is one of the focus areas of the ASEAN sub-regional grouping of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“The President looks forward to further broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation with Brunei Darussalam, as well as to advancing efforts toward a more peaceful, prosperous and progressive ASEAN,” Abella said.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“The celebrations were a fitting tribute to a beloved leader who made amity and cooperation a cornerstone of secure and stable relations between nations in Southeast Asia and beyond,” he added.

On Tuesday, Duterte said he had accepted Bolkiah’s invitation because the sultan is his “good friend” and a “dear friend of the Philippines.”

The 71-year-old Bolkiah is one of the world’s longest reigning absolute monarchs and one of the richest individuals in the world.

In 2008, the sultan posted a net worth of $20 billion, a wealth based on Brunei’s oil and gas reserves, according to Forbes magazine.

Duterte first visited Brunei in October last year.

Brunei was supposed to be the first country to be visited by Duterte as president but he was forced to cancel his trip in September 2016 because of the Davao blast.

READ: Duterte cancels Brunei trip after Davao blast l Duterte declares 'state of lawlessness' after Davao blast

Amid mounting criticisms at home and abroad for his bloody drug war, Duterte might have found an ally in Bolkiah, who vowed to help eradicate drug trafficking during his Manila trip last April.

The April visit of Bolkiah, a leader known for pushing tough Shariah penalties such as amputation for theft and stoning for adultery, is the first state visit under the Duterte administration.

READ: Brunei sultan arrives in Manila for state visit, ASEAN summit

Philippine exports to Brunei amounted to $85 million in 2014, data from the embassy show.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Healines Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1