Duterte to attend ASEAN summit virtually October 26-28

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Duterte to attend ASEAN summit virtually October 26-28
President Rodrigo Duterte wears a face mask during a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases at Malacañang on April 13.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit from Oct. 26 to 28 virtually, Malacañang said yesterday.

“The President will attend via Zoom or computer hook-up from Oct. 26 to 28,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a media briefing.

He said as in past years, the ASEAN Summit would be followed by ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-China, ASEAN-US, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Australia, ASEAN-Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN-India and ASEAN-Russia meetings.

Duterte has been attending international summits virtually since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

The 10-member regional bloc earlier decided to exclude Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing from the virtual summit.

The decision broke ASEAN’s decades-long policy of non-interference in the affairs of member-nations.

ASEAN is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. had said ASEAN would lose credibility if the leader of the junta in Myanmar would be allowed to attend a virtual regional summit.

The Philippine government refused to comment on the military takeover in Myanmar in February, calling it an “internal matter.”

In the same month, Locsin blamed the West for “destroying” Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar’s leader has lost the support of Western nations as she had stayed silent on the atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

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