• Duterte, Australian spy chief meet, discuss regional security issues


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has met with Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) Director General Nicolas “Nick” Peter Warner in Malacañang, where they discussed regional security issues, a Palace official said.

    The President received Warner in a courtesy call at the Music Room of the Palace on Tuesday, according to the video released by the Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM) on Wednesday.

    “It (Duterte-Warner meeting) was basically a courtesy call that touched on regional security issues and declaration of mutual support,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

    Duterte was joined by the some members of his Cabinet during the meeting, while Warner was accompanied by Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorley and Counsellor Caroline Fogarty.

    According to RTVM, Warner was appointed by the Governor-General of Australia on August 17, 2009.

    “He (Warner) is responsible to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in managing ASIS and advises the Minister on key matters relative to the office,” the RTVM said.

    “The ASIS Director-General is the only member of the Service who can be identified publicly, according to Australian laws,” it added.

    In its official website, the primary goal of ASIS is to “obtain and distribute secret intelligence about the capabilities, intentions and activities of individuals or organisations outside Australia, which may impact on Australia’s interests and the well-being of its citizens.” CATHERINE S. VALENTE


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