After being out of the country for more than three weeks now, Philippine Foreign Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano is set to extend his United States visit to a month before returning to Manila.
Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar on Monday, October 9 said the country’s top diplomat still had “some events and work to attend to in New York.”
According to him, Cayetano will attend the annual meeting of the board of governors of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which will take place from October 13 to 15 in Washington, D.C.
“The Secretary will be part of the Philippine delegation to the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC this week,” Bolivar said.
Cayetano flew to New York last month to represent Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the 72nd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, which opened on September 19.
In speech on September 23, Cayetano defended the Duterte administration’s heavily criticized campaign against illegal drugs as a “necessary instrument to preserve and protect the human rights of all Filipinos.”
The top diplomat also met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on September 27 in his official visit to Washington, D.C.
Cayetano told Tillerson that the Philippines welcomes the support of U.S. in combating drug menace. But calls from Washington, D.C. and other human rights organizations for impartial investigation on the deaths of drug suspects were deflected.
Following September 29, the top diplomat flew back to New York City and met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
During their meeting, Cayetano told Guterres that the Philippine government is ready to welcome “unbiased” experts from the UN who would conduct an objective assessment of human rights situation in the country.
Cayetano has repeatedly assured the international community that the Philippine government values human rights. (Dana Sioson/AJPress)