PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday assured the international committee that the Philippines will honor all existing treaties with other countries and respect all international obligations.
“On the international front and community of nations, let me reiterate that the Republic of the Philippines will honor treaties and international obligations,” Duterte said in his inaugural speech.
The assurance erased fears that the Duterte Administration will turn its back on the treaties signed by previous governments.
Duterte has earlier said he is in favor of continuing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States. The agreement allows American forces to preposition temporary facilities in Philippine military installations.
The Supreme Court upheld the legality of the agreement in January.
Duterte also vowed to implement all peace agreements that are in accordance with the law.
“On the domestic front, my administration is committed to implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms,” he said.
The first president from Mindanao also said he is committed to bring peace in the Southern Philippines and come up with a peace agreement that is inclusive.
“I am elated by the expression of unity among our Moro brothers and leaders, and the response of everyone else to my call for peace. I look forward to the participation of all other stakeholders, particularly our indigenous peoples, to ensure inclusivity in the peace process,” he noted.
The Duterte Administration is set to hold official talks with communist rebels following the meeting last month between Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison.
Meanwhile, members of the diplomatic corps expressed their gratitude to the new president for giving them the opportunity to greet Duterte and strengthen the bonds and collaboration between the Philippines and the government of other countries and international organizations.
Papal nuncio Giuseppe Pinto, the dean of the diplomatic corps, likened the assumption of Duterte to the presidency to a book.
“Starting today all women and men of this country are called to write on the blank pages of this book to engrave their aspiration and dream their convictions and ideals,” he said.
“I would like to invite you now to raise your glasses to the well-being of his Excellency and to the propriety and progress of the Filipino people. God bless the Philippines,” the Papal nuncio said in response to Duterte’s toast.