Duterte off to Myanmar today


Since the establishment of bilateral relations 60 years ago in 1956, the economic relations between the Philippines and Myanmar have grown significantly, Chua said.

According to Teodosio, whenever ride a taxi in Myanmar, the driver would always ask if they are from the Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (pic) has described European lawmakers as "crazies" in a salty-tongued rebuttal to criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed.

The President's official visits to Myanmar and Thailand form the final leg of his introductory trips to ASEAN countries, which is said to be timely to prepare the country to host the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila this April.

Aside from meeting President U Htin Kyaw, Duterte will also meet with Myanmar's leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize victor Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

"In my visit to Bangkok, I will renew the Philippines' commitment to further enhance our excellent relations with Thailand".

Meanwhile, Duterte is also expected to meet with the military of Myanmar. But as an Overseas Filipino Worker based here, he said he thinks it is very important that Duterte gets to "live with the expectations of everyone, not alone the Filipinos from the Philippines but also the Filipinos based in other countries".

It is not yet known whether Duterte will discuss with Suu Kyi the concerns aired by the United Nations human rights body over the extrajudicial killings, gang rape and probable ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority.

The Philippines and Thailand have existing mechanisms on trade and military cooperation, namely, the Joint Trade Commission and the Joint Commission for Military Cooperation.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the Philippines' top exports to Myanmar are medicaments for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, while the country's major imports from Myanmar are agricultural products.

This will be the first of the President's foreign trips this year.

In 2016, the Philippines ranked as Myanmar's 16th biggest investor.

Aragon said the cooperation deal entails sharing best practices and capacity-building for improved tourism in both countries.

"They contribute to the development of the economies of both the Philippines and Myanmar", he said. On Sunday, he warned many more people would be killed.

"So when we heard he was coming, we didn't know how to react because we thought he had no chance to stop by Myanmar", he said.



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