MANILA, Nov 9 (Bernama) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte left Wednesday for Malaysia, with maritime security and the fight against piracy topping his discussion with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
“The focus of my visit shall be to strengthen the Philippines’ partnership in Malaysia for security and stability, these are the foundations of our nation’s peace process, progress, and prosperity,” Duterte said in his departure speech.
The President will proceed first to Thailand to pay his respect to King Bhumibol Adulyadej before heading to Kuala Lumpur for an overnight visit.
He said the King was a true friend of the Philippines, whose state visit in 1963 continues to resonate to this day.
“He will be remembered for his dedicated efforts to foster goodwill and friendship between our nations and peoples,” he said.
In Malaysia, Duterte said both countries, which are maritime nations, should ensure that “the waterways are secure and that criminal and terrorists elements do not use our seas to undertake their illegal activities.”
Philippine-based terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group had victimised in the past tourists from Malaysia and even crew of some foreign vessels passing through the borders of the two countries.
Duterte said he will also seek Malaysia’s greater cooperation in the war against illicit drug trade and its continued support in the peace process in southern Philippines.