Brunei’s Sultan Bolkiah joins Duterte at SEA Games opening


Posted at Nov 30 2019 07:25 PM | Updated as of Nov 30 2019 09:08 PM

MANILA - Brunei’s Sultan and Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah arrived in Manila Saturday morning for a 2-day official visit.

Later in the day, he joined President Rodrigo Duterte during the opening ceremonies of the Southeast Asian Games at Philippine Arena.

A number of the Sultan's family members are participating in the Games.

Bolkiah arrived in Malacañang around 4 p.m., along with his son Prince Abdul Mateen, who is part of Brunei's polo team competing in the SEA Games.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez welcomed the 73-year-old monarch and his scion before the royals were ushered to one of the Palace's rooms for his bilateral meeting with the President.

Bolkiah earlier expressed support for Duterte's drug war, saying Brunei could help the Philippines in its crusade against narcotics through "close collaboration" and "exchanges of expertise and best practices."

Several of the Sultan's children and other relatives are taking part in the SEA Games. 

His son Prince Abdul Mateen and daughter Princess Azemah Ni’matul have been leading Brunei's polo team, while his other daughter Princess Fadzilah Lubabul is part of the sultanate's netball squad.

The Sultan's nephew Faiq Jefri Bolkiah is, meanwhile, Brunei's football captain. He was rushed to the hospital last week after a curry dish served in his hotel triggered his peanut allergy.

The Brunei leader's brother Prince Jefri and another nephew, Bahar Jefri, are playing for the Brunei polo team.