MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has personally written to Pope Francis to thank him for visiting the Philippines in 2015 and stress the value of Manila's ties to the Vatican.
Below is a photo of the letter from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza earlier said he is set to deliver the letter to the Pontiff during the baciamano, or the traditional kissing of the Pope's ring, in a visit to Vatican on Wednesday.
Dureza is currently in Rome to attend the third round of peace talks between the government and communist rebels.
In 2015, Duterte made headlines for supposedly cursing Pope Francis for the heavy traffic which ensued during his papal visit to the Philippines.
He stressed that it was not the Catholic leader whom he cursed at, but the way the government handled the security preparations that led to closure of some roads.
Nonetheless, he wrote the Vatican to apologize for his irate comments and in return, received a letter from a representative of the Holy See.
-- Report from Dexter Ganibe