• Aquino to go to quake-hit areas before flying to Korea

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    President Benigno Aquino 3rd will be visiting Bohol and affected nearby provinces in Visayas and Mindanao before flying to South Korea on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters, the President said that he will be inspecting damaged areas and meeting the residents affected by the magnitude-7.2 earthquake on Tuesday.

    “I’ll be going to Bohol and Cebu tomorrow and, if possible other areas. And if the assessment is that there are a lot of things that are not being taken cared of then we will reconsider the visit,” he said.

    “[But], as of this time, [all]things that have to be done are being done,” the President added

    As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aquino said that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has reported that a total of 28 people have been confirmed dead.

    KOREA TRIP TO PROCEED

    On one hand, it’s business as usual for President Aquino despite the recent incident.

    According to Aquino, he will push through with his two-day state visit to South Korea on Thursday.

    He is expected to meet with President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House to strengthen the economic and security ties of the two countries.

    “Na-set na ito, bigla nating kakanselin, baka naman ma-delay ‘yung magandang pag-uugnayan natin sa Korea [This meeting has already been set and if we will suddenly cancel it, it might delay our good cooperation with Korea],” Aquino said.

    The president, who will be the first leader to make a state visit to Korea since Park assumed presidency last February, is also set to meet with Korean businessmen and Filipino community.

    According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, President Aquino is expected to hold summit talks with President Park on bilateral issues such as political dialogue, defense cooperation, trade and investments relations, official development assistance, consular and labor cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

    A defense cooperation accord will also be signed by the two nations during President Aquino’s visit. CATHERINE VALENTE

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