ASEAN PARTNERS: President Duterte and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah review honor guards during the welcome ceremony in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.
Brunei backs Philippines in war on drugs
(The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2016 - 12:00am

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is supporting President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said yesterday.

Yasay said the war on drugs was among the issues discussed by Duterte and Bolkiah during bilateral talks held shortly after welcome ceremonies at the Istana Nurul Iman.

Duterte has been vocal about his fight against illegal drugs and he is hoping neighboring countries, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), would do the same.

He said drugs are transported along the borders, specifically in the territorial waters surrounding the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The President, who has just accepted the chairmanship of the ASEAN, is hoping for a drug-free ASEAN in the years to come.

Duterte arrived here on Sunday night and was received by Bolkiah at the Istana Nurul Iman with a 21-gun salute at 2 p.m. yesterday.

Last night, Bolkiah hosted a dinner for the President and his party, which included Yasay, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza and Press Secretary Martin Andanar.

The President met with over 7,000 members of the Filipino community at the Hassan Bolkiah National Sports Complex on Sunday after his arrival.

More investments

Meanwhile, the President is opening the country for more investments from Brunei.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the President expressed to Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, in the bilateral meeting yesterday afternoon at the Istana Nurul Iman, that the country welcomes more investments from this oil-rich country. 

His arrival here also marked the 32 years since bilateral relations have been formally established between the Philippines and Brunei.

“On trade and investments, we had very good discussion with respect also to encouraging investments in our country,”  Lopez said. 

He stressed that the Philippines is considered to be among the fast-growing economies in the world which Brunei investors could look into. 

WAR ON DRUGS
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