MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino finally arrived in the country, brandishing the country’s gains in the 18th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Cabinet members were around to welcome Aquino, who was supposed to arrive Sunday night. His flight was cancelled because of tropical storm “Bebeng.”
The President’s plane took off at exactly 8:15 a.m. (Manila time) from the Perdanakusuma Military Airbase.
In his arrival speech, Aquino said he was happy to be back thinking of the many successes the country gained in the past few days, starting with the win of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
He also said the country gained an important spot in the ASEAN, not only as an effective member but also as a nation that could help its neighbors.
He cited, for example, Indonesia’s plan to adopt the country’s targeted subsidy program called Pantawid Pasada Program.
He also said Cambodia and Laos are eyeing the country as an investment partner.
Before he left Indonesia, Aquino was also able to hold bilateral talks with Vietnam.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang said the discussion revolved around both
country’s claims over the disputed Spratly Islands.
He said: “Napagkasunduan natin sa Vietnam kung ano man ang claims natin sa South China Sea ay hindi dapat mauwi sa gulo yung competing claims. So, ang sinasabi natin sa Vietnam, maghanap tayo ng paraan para hindi maging tensiyonado ang South China Sea.”