Duterte receives new envoys of Cambodia, Indonesia, Greece, Argentina

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2022 08:35 PM | Updated as of May 25 2022 08:47 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte poses with Ambassador Phan Peuv of Cambodia (left) and Ambassador Ricardo Luis Bocalandro of Argentina (Right). Screengrab from RTVM. 
President Rodrigo Duterte poses with Ambassador Phan Peuv of Cambodia (left) and Ambassador Ricardo Luis Bocalandro of Argentina (Right). Screengrab from RTVM. 


MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday welcomed four new ambassadors to the Philippines.

Duterte accepted the credentials of ambassadors Phan Peuv of Cambodia, Agus Widjojo of Indonesia, Ricardo Luis Bocalandro of Argentina, and Ioannis Pediotis of Greece in Malacañang.

In his speech, the Cambodian envoy said Phnom Penh and Manila have "very good" bilateral ties, and that they will work for stronger and closer cooperation with the country.

Indonesia's Widjojo said the Philippines and his country have an alliance for over seven decades, since the two "share the same interests and values based on mutual respect." 

He also touted the two nations' economic cooperation, noting developments on renewable energy and the "increasing number" of Indonesian businessmen investing in the country. 

The envoy vowed to continue "building bridges" between Manila and Jakarta. 

"They encourage each other's aspirations, complement each other's strengths and come to support to overcome each other's weaknesses," he said. 

"The Philippines'... 'Build, Build, Build' has been taken to greater heights. This is one of the opportunities for both countries to embrace and broaden their cooperation as Indonesia's private and government enterprises participated in the Philippine government's infrastructure projects." 

Duterte asked Widjojo during the photo opportunity to remove his face mask in Malacañang so he can see the ambassador's face: "This place has been sprayed with anti-COVID so you can be sure that you are safe."

The President, upon accepting Widjojo's credentials, described the Southeast Asian nation as the country's friend and "natural ally" because of its "shared commitment" to regional peace and development. 

Bocalandro, meanwhile, wished the country and Argentina to have deeper relations based on their "common Hispanic root" and history.

Argentina and the Philippine will celebrate the 75th year of their diplomatic relations next year.

"There exists a large field of opportunities to continue cooperating in our bilateral relations. There are a lot of things that can be done in the field of trade and investment, in the field of culture, cooperation, high technology. We have many, many elements we can share together for the benefit of our nations," the Argentinian envoy said. 

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"We live in a world which is shaped in great uncertainties. It is in this context that both our nations are developing democracies, have a large opportunity to continue cooperating not only bilaterally but also in a multilateral forum," he added.

Pediotis said Greece's cooperation with Philippines in terms of international organizations is "exemplary," noting that his government sought to promote stronger ties with the nation. 

Duterte met with the new ambassadors weeks before he vacates Malacañang. He is set to step down from office on June 30.