Visiting Indian President Ram Nath Kovind is greeted by Health Secretary Francisco Duque upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday. The Indian leader is in the country for a five-day state visit.
Krizjohn Rosales
Indian president in Philippines for state visit
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Indian President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in the Philippines yesterday, kicking off his five-day visit that includes a meeting with President Duterte.

The 74-year-old Indian head of state arrived on an Air India chartered flight at 4:19 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, accompanied by First Lady Savita Kovind.?Kovind was met at the airport by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Indian Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar.?The Department of Foreign Affairs said Kovind will be meeting Duterte today for bilateral talks on economic, cultural and people-to-people engagement.?India and the Philippines are marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Kovind is scheduled to lay a wreath at the Rizal monument in Rizal Park before proceeding to Malacañang for the meeting with Duterte and members of the Cabinet and Indian officials.

Kovind will also meet with members of the Indian community as well as Filipino beneficiaries of the Makati City-based Mahaveer Philippine Foundation Inc., a nongovernment organization that provides free prosthetic limbs developed in India – known as the Jaipur foot – to amputees.?Kovind was elected president in July 2017.

He was the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the leading party in India’s ruling coalition government.?Prior to his election as president, Kovind was the governor of India’s Bihar state. 

He was a member of the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament, and also served as government lawyer in the Indian Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.?India’s president is the ceremonial head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

The prime minister is the head of government.?The president of India is indirectly elected by an electoral college composed of elected members of the two houses of Parliament and of the legislatures of India’s states and union territories.

RAM NATH KOVIND
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