PRRD to convey aid to Indonesia quake victims in meeting with Widodo

MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte will have a chance to personally convey to Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo assistance the Philippines can provide to earthquake and tsunami victims when the two leaders meet at the ASEAN Leaders' Gathering on Oct. 11 in Bali, Indonesia.

This is a good chance for the President to personally, like you know, relay to President Jokowi Widodo our assistance, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Junever Mahilum-West said Monday in a pre-departure press briefing in Malacanang.

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, triggering tsunami that left over 1,500 people dead and massive destructions a week ago.

We will give assistance and then it will be coursed through the AHA, we call it the AHA Center, she said, referring to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre).

She said a simple turnover ceremony is being prepared on the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders' Gathering.

Maganda kasi na face-to-face 'yung mga leaders nandoon para bigyan natin ng konting seremonya at saka solemnity (It would be proper that since leaders will meet there face-to-face, let's give it a simple ceremony and solemnity), West said.

Last week, Duterte said the Philippines is ready to extend financial assistance and send a humanitarian team to Indonesia's devastated island.

Duterte has also extended the nation's sympathy to the people of Indonesia.

The Philippines stands with Indonesia during this most difficult time and is ready to provide assistance to Indonesia, Duterte said in a statement.

Meanwhile, West said Duterte is expected to have some bilateral meetings with fellow ASEAN leaders, particularly Widodo.

We are expecting some bilateral meetings despite the shortness of the visit. Right now, we are making arrangements for a meeting with Indonesia, she said.

She said at least three ASEAN leaders have expressed interest to talk with Duterte.

West, however, deferred to name names and countries since preparations are not yet in this advanced stage.

Usually ang nangyayari ho mga --- siguro pull aside meetings ang possible. So talagang madalian lang, but very ano rin intensive 'yung discussions. (Usually what will happen is perhaps full aside meetings are possible. It's very short visit but discussions are very intensive), she said.

Duterte will join all other leaders of the ASEAN upon the invitation of Widodo. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency