President Duterte returns from productive South Korea Visit

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows a gesture of respect before delivering his arrival statement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on June 5, 2018 following a successful three-day official visit to the Republic of Korea. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte reported a fruitful three-day trip to South Korea Tuesday that further strengthened relations between the two countries particularly in areas of security, economy as well as trade and investment.

“My Official Visit to Seoul was meaningful and productive. We are now writing a new chapter of cooperation in the shared history between the Philippines and South Korea,” President Duterte said in his arrival statement.

“My meetings with President Moon Jae-in were very warm, open and enriching – as things should be between special friends and long-standing partners,” he added.

The Chief Executive said that he and South Korean President Moon committed to significantly strengthen their partnership especially in defense and security, trade and investments, infrastructure development, and protection of their nationals.

The President commended President Moon’s commitment to strengthen the foundations of security and stability in the region, and expressed his full support for all efforts for the eventual denuclearization in the Southern Korean peninsula.

Also, the President’s trip resulted in new government-to-government agreements for wider collaboration in science and technology, infrastructure development, renewable energy deployment, trade and economic relations, transportation, agriculture, forestry, and communications.

“President Moon and I both reaffirmed the need to work closer together to address traditional and emerging threats, again [including] terrorism, transnational crimes and piracy at sea,” Duterte said.

“To do this, we will count on South Korea as a steady partner in modernizing its key assets in defense, security and law enforcement,” he added.

The two leaders also both agreed to ramp up cooperation in the regional and international fora, especially in ASEAN, to advance security, stability and the rule of law.

The President’s visit also reinvigorated trade between the two countries. President Duterte announced that more than 20 agreements were signed between South Korean and the Philippine companies.

These agreements are projected to generate an estimated of $4.8 billion in investments and around 20,000 to 25,000 thousand new jobs.

Part of the itinerary of the President is meeting the Filipino community in South Korea. He said he was warmly welcomed by the Filipinos there and humbled by their reception.

“I gave them my commitment that their government will continue to work hard to advance their interests, protect their well-being and uphold their rights,” he said.

Both the Philippines and South Korea honored their joint sacrifices in defense of freedom and democracy in the Korean Peninsula. The two countries look forward to the landmark 70th anniversary of their relations next year, vowing to work together to make the occasion memorable.

“Indeed, the Republic of Korea is a true friend of the Philippines. And President Moon an even closer ally. Our friendship is reaching a new maturity at even closer as deep and abiding friends,” he said.

“It is reaching on the level of mutual respect for each other, and our relations will only grow stronger in the years to come,” he added.

Warning vs criminals, erring government personnel

In a media interview after delivering his arrival statement, the President renewed his commitment to restore law and order in the country warning everyone to behave.

He said he may use his emergency power to restore order particularly in addressing rising crime rates.

“Ni-warning ko lang kayong mga kriminal, lahat na. Nasa gobyerno, sa labas. I will make radical changes in the days to come,” he said.

“For those offices na hindi talaga ma-control, I will place you under the Office of the President. Ako na mismo ang kaharap mo araw-araw,” he added

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