On PRRD’s attendance at the Forum of the
The Palace wishes to inform the Filipino people that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined four other world leaders in the prestigious Forum of the Valdai International Discussion Club. He shared center stage with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who invited him to the Valdai Forum; King Abdullah II of Jordan; President Heydar Oglu Aliyev of Azerbaijan; and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan.
In his opening statement, the President lamented the fact that for decades the relationship between the Philippines and Russia had been marginal. He deemed such relationship as an oversight of strategic proportions which he corrected upon his assumption to the presidency.
He mentioned that for years the foreign policy of the Philippines was tailored to that of the United States. He added that while he is maintaining the country’s alliance with the US, he opted to embark on an independent foreign policy, having in mind the current geopolitics, by reaching out to all nations that extend their hand of friendship to the Philippines with mutual respect and without preconditions.
In his speech, President Duterte pointed out that he had sought responsible partnerships and meaningful cooperation to realize his vision of inclusive growth and development in the Philippines.
The Chief Executive likewise touched on the importance of ASEAN centrality and unity in managing the impact of geopolitical rivalry among the greater powers. In this regard, PRRD took note of Russia’s “Turn to the East” policy to underscore the latter’s increasing focus on Asia.
These developments, to the mind of President Duterte, are indicative of the shifting of the global balance of power from West to East, which in turn, would greatly cause a positive impact on the peace, stability and progress in the region.
PRRD criticised certain powerful countries who imposed their own set of rules to other nations that undercut the very foundations that make for world harmony. He took the opportunity to ask the critics of his war on drugs to investigate first before they condemn his campaign against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs that destroy the very fabric of Philippine society. He reiterated his commitment to pursue what he has started against the enemies of the state no matter what the cost to his life or liberty.
The President ended his speech by wishing everyone world peace. The President’s critique moved one from the audience to ask him how he managed the shift of the country’s foreign policy. His response was a recital of the whys and wherefores of the drug problem plaguing our country that had the listeners glued to their seats, a measure on how his response was received.
Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson