Duterte attends ASEAN Summit
In this photo taken on November 10, 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Released/PCOO Facebook page

Duterte attends ASEAN Summit

(Philstar.com) - November 12, 2020 - 1:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday morning attended the opening ceremony for the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits via teleconference and is expected to participate in the event until Saturday.

Malacañang in a statement released Wednesday said Duterte would put forward the Philippines’ interests in the South China Sea as well as the need for cohesive regional action among member-nations.

The president is also slated to advance the country's positions on public health emergencies cooperation, regional economic integration, migrant workers’ rights, climate change, disaster risk reduction management, and counterterrorism.

The summit is chaired by Vietnam and will focus on the theme “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who will attend the biannual meeting along with the president, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolly Bautista, on Twitter revealed that Thursday's meeting would last for 12 hours straight.

Screen grab taken on November 12, 2020, shows President Rodrigo Duterte participating in the opening ceremony for the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits along with other leaders of member states.  — RTVM Screengrab 

Duterte to speak to the public on 'Ulysses'

Duterte was to address the nation on Tuesday afternoon after Typhoon Ulysses, the 21st tropical cyclone to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility this year, battered parts of Luzon this morning, dumping heavy rainfall and triggering flash floods across Metro Manila.

In a statement released Wednesday night, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Malacañang was "closely monitoring" the situation, adding that concerned agencies were on standby with relief goods, supplies and medicines.

As Filipinos awoke to the all too familiar scene of the wreckage of yet another typhoon, the Office of Civil Defense insisted that the government was not caught flat footed by Ulysses and instead placed the blame on citizens who it claimed did not heed early warnings.

"Sometimes, our local officials make the rounds but our countrymen do not comply right away. We rely more on what we feel, on the prevailing situation that we feel, rather than the advice given by PAGASA," OCD Assistant Secretary Casiano Monilla said in Filipino during a virtual briefing.

Last week, Duterte lashed out at critics who noted his absence as the world's strongest storm of the year, Super Typhoon Rolly, displaced millions and left 20 Filipinos dead.

"These stupid ones are saying I wasn't there, but I was just waiting for the typhoon to pass. If you don't have any dead relatives then good for you. But those who have like us, we have to go home," Duterte said in Filipino during a televised address, referencing his return to Davao City for Undas weeekend. Duterte has addressed the nation from his hometown in the past but chose not to do so amidst Rolly's wreckage. — Bella Perez-Rubio with reports from Xave Gregorio and The STAR 

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