After the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to travel to Indonesia in order to hope for a security and bilateral talks with Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo. The Philippine President will be headed to Jakarta, Indonesia before going home back to his official residence, which is in Davao City, Philippines. This will be the first trip of the Philippine leader independently to a foreign country in order to directly conduct bilateral talks with a head of state in a foreign land.
The Philippines and Indonesia has a long history of an alliance since the ancient times. After the Second World War in 1945, both countries was one of the earliest member states responsible for forming ASEAN. Together with Malaysia, the three countries originally established MAPHILINDO (Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia) bilateral cooperation countries. These three nations were the key founding nations who established the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is known today.
|President Rodrigo Duterte's photo is now displayed in a park in Indonesia to welcome him during his visit to Jakarta|
Aside from the head of states from Southeast Asia, President Duterte was able to meet the head of states outside the Southeast Asian region. These are the from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, India, United Kingdom, Germany, and the United Nations Secretariat. The 8-bloc allegiance to the ASEAN member states discussed important issues affecting the ASEAN region such as the maritime dispute with the South China Sea in particular with the territorial claims.
Aside from the maritime disputes, some participants attempted to ask Duterte with regards to his strategic plan on the war on anti-narcotics. But Duterte immediately closed the discussion because the main theme of the ASEAN summit should be more prioritized than dealing with the issue on the South China Sea. By the end of his speech, President Rodrigo Duterte publicly presented a historical photo of a Massacre in Sulu that was known as the Battle of Bud Dajo. President Duterte clarified that his stance on anti-narcotics war is efficient enough to bring peace to the country.
5 Reasonable facts why Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Indonesia
1. Resolve the case of Mary Jane Veloso: President will attempt to make an appeal to the Indonesian government with the situation of Mary Jane Veloso. She is set to be executed by the Indonesian authorities that can happen at this year. President Duterte will try to persuade the Indonesian government to delay or to totally reverse their decision with the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who was used as a mule for illegal trafficking of narcotics and other illegal substances.
2. Share his tactics with the crackdown against illegal narcotics: Indonesia earlier implied that it is inspired by the position led by the Duterte administration with their crackdown on illegal substances such as narcotics. President Rodrigo Duterte will be talking with the Police Chief and the head of state to share his strategies to further improve Indonesia's crackdown on illegal substance use and trade. His vision will empower the skill and the knowledge of Indonesian authorities to respond efficiently to the issue of criminality as well as corrupt practices of the government.
3. The war against Abu Sayyaf: The most notorious terrorist group in the Philippines abducted several Indonesian sailors, which they still use as bait for their criminal activities. President Jokowi Widodo is expected to coordinate with the Philippine government as the country is now in full force to permanently exterminate the bandits. Out of 7,500 troops in Sulu against only 400 to 500 armed bandits, the government hopes to neutralize all the bandits and will set the captives free. Indonesia hopes that Indonesian captives will be freed alive.
4. Maritime security: Rodrigo may have downplayed his position with the maritime row against China because he is more concentrated on security the terror threats in the Celebes and Sulu Seas. These two seas are the most pirated seas in Asia due to the threat of Abu Sayyaf and other Islamist militants who are responsible for terrorizing ships, fishermen, and tourists in the area. With the fight against Abu Sayyaf, Duterte is also seeking for Indonesia's cooperation by using their naval forces to intensify across the Celebes and Sulu Seas.
5. Boost bilateral relationship: The Philippines is one of the good partners of Indonesia in terms of both economic and political affairs. In terms of economic issues, trading relationships with regards to strengthening business developments between the two countries will be further enhanced. Jokowi Widodo knows that President Duterte is very different from the past administration, so he could learn more about Duterte, since Duterte is a veteran politician. Rodrigo Duterte is a politician in the Philippines for more than 30 years.