• Duterte to tour Asean next month

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    President Rodrigo Duterte will visit members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) next month, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

    Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte has approved plans to tour Asean nations from September 4 to 9.

    The President will attend the Asean Summit in Vientiane, Laos from September 6 to 8.

    Abella said it is “part of tradition” for the President to visit neighboring Asean countries before the Philippines assumes leadership of the regional body in 2017.

    In an earlier interview, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President may visit Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Andanar stressed, however, that nothing is final as of the moment.

    The visit to Malaysia was raised by Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza during a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Premier’s office in Putrajaya last month.

    Fighting terrorism and the economy may be among the talking points of the visit to Malaysia. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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