President Duterte mulls closer cooperation with China

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON-- President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday reiterated that the Philippines plans to have closer cooperation with China.

In his speech during the Kaamulan Festival in Bukidnon, President Duterte said the Philippines just wanted to be friends with China.

"China is my neighbor. I just want to make friends and trade so that my people will be happy and improve our country," he said, adding that China gave assistance for the improvement of the Philippines.

The Chief Executive also asked China to help in developing the country's agriculture.

Duterte said that China had imported more products from the Philippines such as pineapples and bananas.

However, Duterte underscored that "he will not enter into a military alliance with any country."

The President also acknowledged the presence of Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua at the festival and considered the diplomat's presence as meaningful, saying that it would help open doors for better diplomatic relations with China.

President Duterte also recalled his campaign promise to stop corruption, saying that he would not tolerate such under his administration.

"Corruption will stop," he said, adding that he had fired 92 government personnel this month.

After delivering his speech, President Duterte proceeded to the groundbreaking of the soon-to-be-built Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Bukidnon.

Source: Philippines News Agency