President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Davao City early Saturday morning from a “productive visit” to Brunei where he attended the golden jubilee Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah’s accession to the throne, Malacañang said on Saturday.
In a statement, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte was in Brunei “to personally convey his warm greetings” to Bolkiah.
He said the President also “reaffirmed the long and enduring ties” and “renewed the special friendship” between the Philippines and Brunei.
“The President has described His Majesty the Sultan as a friend of the Philippines in the truest and most profound sense of the word; he also recognizes His Majesty the Sultan’s principled commitment to the pursuit of just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao, the well-being of Filipinos in Brunei Darussalam, and his unequalled efforts to bring the two countries closer to each other,” Abella said.
Duterte anticipated “to further broaden and deepen” the country’s bilateral cooperation with Brunei, and to advance efforts for “a more peaceful, prosperous, and progressive Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations.”
During the two-day visit, the President also met other leaders, including those from Asean nations such as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“The celebration was also an occasion to reaffirm ties with key leaders from within and outside of the region,” Abella said.
The 71-year-old Bolkiah ascended to the throne of the Muslim country perched on the north of tropical Borneo island in October 1967.
He is the 29th sultan of Brunei from a royal family that has ruled the country continuously for over 600 years.
Duterte first visited Brunei in October last year.
After second visit to the oil-rich sultanate, the President returned to Davao City at around 1:47 am on Saturday.