Duterte to skip ASEAN-Australia summit

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2018 12:03 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2018 02:17 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte and his partner Cielito Avancena pose with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull before the start of the Special Gala Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in Manila, Philippines November 12, 2017. Aaron Favila, Reuters

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will skip the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Australia special summit later this month, his spokesman said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will have to skip the summit, scheduled this March 16-18, because “developments continue to require the President’s presence here in the Philippines.

Roque cited Duterte’s desire to attend the Philippine Military Academy on March 18 “as he considers this an opportunity to have a dialogue with younger military officials.”

Roque said Duterte still considers the summit “very important” and has decided to send Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano as his representative.

The special summit will mark the 14th anniversary of Australia’s ties with the ASEAN.