(UPDATED) Amid alleged efforts to kick him out of office, President Rodrigo Duterte received a rockstar welcome from Myanmar’s Filipino community when he arrived at the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport on Sunday night to start his 2-day official visit.
Duterte’s flight, PR 001, had barely been on the tarmac when the crowd watching the livestream at the Horizon Lake View Resort burst into applause and cheers.
Duterte was accorded the usual arrival honors before he boarded his convoy for Horizon Lake View Resort, his residence for his 2-day visit.
Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar Alex Chua and Defense and Armed Forces Attache Colonel Edgardo De Leon along with several Myanmar officials welcomed the President upon his arrival.
Duterte was accompanied by several members of his Cabinet: Enrique Manalo (Foreign Affairs), Manny Piñol (Agriculture), Delfin Lorenzana (Defense), Ramon Lopez (Trade), Martin Andanar (Communications), Hermogenes Esperon (National Security) and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
Also joining the trip are Senators Vicente Sotto III and Alan Peter Cayetano and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapeña.
In his pre-departure speech in Davao, the President said his visit will underscore the Philippines' commitment to Myanmar to deepen the ties between the two countries.
"We also have a common interest in sustaining inclusive growth and the development of our peoples," Duterte said.
The President explained that bilateral ties and investment will be the key areas of discussion during his visit.
From Myanmar, Duterte will fly to Thailand for an official visit until March 22. -- with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News