Palace explains Duterte’s absence in G20 Summit

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2017 01:07 PM

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte was not present in the G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany last week because the Philippine government did not lobby for an invitation.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the administration did not lobby for an invitation. He said the German government, which holds the G20 presidency this year, also did not extend any invitation.

“[We] need to understand, hindi talaga tipo ng Presidente na hihingi sya ng audience sa ganun, hindi ba? Ngayon, nagkataon lang din na pati prerogative actually ng G20 na sila ang mangingimbita hindi ba? Depende sa kanilang kagustuhan,” Abella said in a chance interview in Malacañang.

“Madaming sumasali dyan kasi na for example na gustong sumali. You know, hindi naman sila ganun kayaman, pero type lang mag-join.”

French President Emmanuel Macron leaves his position during the family picture to place himself next to US President Donald Trump as German Chancellor Angela Merkel watches on the first day of the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany. Reuters

Both Palace and German government officials earlier confirmed that Duterte was not invited to the summit.

This, even though Duterte is this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN chairmen traditionally attend the G20 Summit, which gathers leaders from the 19 countries and the European Union.

G20 countries account for more than four-fifths of gross world product and three-quarters of global trade.

Germany, a major country in the EU, as this year’s G20 president, can invite other countries, regional organizations and international organizations to the summit.

Duterte has lashed out at the EU for its criticisms to his war on drugs. His government has also shunned EU grants that would intervene in the Philippines’ internal affairs.

Abella said Duterte would rather be in the Philippines to run the government than go abroad and seek "approval" from other countries.

"Hindi talaga istilo ng Presidente yun kasi kailangan nating itakbo ang sarili nating ekonomiya, itakbo natin yung sarili natin,” Abella said.

"Hindi naman kasi sa approval ng ibang tao yung ating pag-unlad. So ang nangyayari actually is nilalakad ng ating Presidente yung ating pag-unlad. Tinututukan niya yung nandito, not necessarily na humihingi sya ng approval ng iba. Iba lang ang istilo lang talaga. And it seem to be working for us. And it is excellent, for example the economy is growing."

According to the G20’s website, international organizations also participate regularly in the G20 summits, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Financial Stability Board, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the International Labor Organization, and the United Nations (UN).