Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday urged political parties to set aside differences during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next week and show the world that Filipino government leaders are united in showing the best that the country has to offer.
“[The] APEC [meeting]is a very important event that we should all support. We are hopeful that the agreements [to be reached there]will promote real inclusive growth that uplifts the lives of the poor,” he said in a statement.
“Let us set aside politics and do what needs to be done for the good of the country,” he added.
In a news conference in La Union in Northern Luzon, Binay said he will be attending APEC functions and will welcome heads of state arriving for state visits.
“That is part of protocol. It’s the Vice President who is tasked to meet the arriving heads of state. That’s part of my job,” he added in Filipino.
“This is for the country. Even though we have differences, I will attend the APEC receptions.”
Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director-general of the APEC National Organizing Council, said in a televised interview that Binay will play a role in the APEC summit.
“We have two state guests and traditionally the Vice President greets the state guests, [in this case, from]Chile and Mexico,” he told ABS-CBN News Channel on Friday.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto are among the heads of state who have confirmed their attendance in the APEC summit.
Paynor said no other government officials who are running in the 2016 elections will have formal participation in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
“Only Cabinet secretaries who are sitting,” Paynor said after he was asked if Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd, a former member of the Aquino Cabinet, will have a role in the summit.
Binay–the opposition standard-bearer in next year’s polls–was also a member of the Aquino Cabinet until his resignation in June.