Thank you, ES Luke Bersamin. [Please, please sit.]
Ano ba ‘yung protocol diyan? I’ve always assumed that the minute you start speaking everyone can sit down.
[Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: I’ll volunteer to sit down next time.]
There you go. Thank you, ma’am. You see... Buti na lang we have GMA with us who guide us along the way.
Vice President Inday Sara Duterte and of course former President and Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Speaker Martin Romualdez; and the members of the Cabinet that we have here with us today, both those who are staying behind to hold the fort and those who are coming with us to attend the ASEAN Summit; Pasay City Lone District Representative [Antonino] Calixto; Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano who is – yes, she’s always in the reception and departure committee; and of course our First Lady, Liza Araneta-Marcos; the AFP... [laughter]
[I don’t know. The level of discussion seems to have...] [laughter]
AFP Chief of Staff General Andy Centino; the Major Service Commanders; Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Abu; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I leave today for Indonesia to attend the 42nd ASEAN Summit at the invitation of the Chair of ASEAN this year, President Joko Widodo.
I will join other Leaders of ASEAN to advance our community-building efforts in the region and ensure the well-being and security of our people, in line with Indonesia’s chairmanship theme of “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.”
My participation will serve to promote and protect the interests of our country, including our continued efforts towards economic growth, attaining food and energy security, promoting trade and investment, combatting transnational crimes such as the trafficking in persons, and protecting migrant workers in crisis situations, amongst others.
The Leaders of ASEAN will also exchange views on pressing issues of common concerns such as developments in the South China Sea, the situation in Myanmar, and major power rivalries, amongst others.
We will be joined by the Leader of Timor-Leste at the 42nd ASEAN Summit. This is the first time that Timor-Leste will join ASEAN as an observer, and I’m looking forward to a bilateral meeting with the leaders of Timor-Leste so that we can discuss their prospective membership in ASEAN.
I will also be participating in the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) [Summit] as well as various interfaces of the ASEAN Leaders with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), and Representatives from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), ASEAN Youth, and the High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision.
In these meetings, we will have the opportunity to highlight the importance of strengthening cooperation in the BIMP-EAGA subregion to sustain its thriving economy, the strong partnership between the executive and legislative bodies of ASEAN, the pivotal role of private sector and the youth in advancing growth and shaping the future as well as the future direction of the ASEAN Vision.
I look forward to our productive engagements with -- to our always productive engagements with our ASEAN partners.
This is a continuation of the process that we had begun where deriving from the idea and the principle and the concept of ASEAN Centrality in the face of the challenges that we have to answer, not only as single nations, but as this political aggrupation that is ASEAN.
I am always optimistic because all the interactions that we have had with the different leaders of ASEAN Member States, and for that matter APEC and all the APEC plus conferences that we’ve had, there seems to be a very clear area of commonality. And as the theme of this ASEAN Summit is clearly manifesting, it is once again towards economic growth and to recognize that ASEAN and Southeast Asia have been the partners that the other parts of the world – and I speak therefore of India, I speak of China, I speak of the European Union, the United States, Latin America, even some elements of Africa – look to Southeast Asia as the growth center for the global economy.
And that is why it is very important that we go and continue to discuss amongst other ASEAN leaders of all the Member States on how we can maximize and find that extra energy, that synergy from our working together.
Maraming salamat po. Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. [applause]
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Watch here: Departure Statement by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
Location: Maharlika in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City