PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday vowed to bring home fresh trade opportunities and more good news from his weeklong trip to the United States where he will attend his last Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit as the country’s leader.
In his pre-departure message, Aquino said officials will further boost the joint strategic partnership between Asean and the US which has helped keep the peace and stability in the region.
“In the face of the issues at the South China Sea and West Philippines Sea, together with our Asean neighbors, the US will be one with us in pushing for ‘rule of law’ in our seas,” the President said.
“For all of us, it is clear that we are all equal under our laws. Respect for the right of each country is the foundation of a sober and more productive relationship that brigns confidence and meaningful opportunities in this part of the world,” he stressed.
Asean leaders and US President Barack Obama will meet in California.
Aquino will be back on Friday.
“I am sure to bring back new opportunities and good news for our bosses,” he said.
“This will be the last Asean summit that I will attend as President of the Philippines. This will be the last time that I could share to my counterparts in the Asean our resolve to pursue the peace process— our response to the issues of extremism and instability.”
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that to be discussed during the summit are regional issues “with the end goal of building a more stable and integrated Asean Community.”
“President Aquino and his counterparts will explore ways to harness opportunities and address common challenges, for the benefit of present and future generations,” the official said in a statement.
Aquino will also speak before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC). Founded in 1953, the LAWAC promotes deeper awareness and understanding of global issues through dialogue with various influential speakers.