President Duterte arrives in Myanmar on state visit

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Security-related issues will be high on the agenda.

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Senators Vicente Sotto III and Alan Peter Cayetano and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) secretary general Isidro Lapeña will be part of the official delegation, Malacañang said yesterday.

Speaking with reporters at the Horizon Lake View Hotel Lobby in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar - following his meeting with the Filipino community Sunday night (March 19), President Duterte described the supposed concerted efforts to destabilize his administration as "all politics".

Duterte's two-day trip comes four years after former Myanmar President U Thein Sein visited the Southeast Asian member country in December 2013.

The Philippines reportedly ranked as Myanmar's 16th biggest investor in 2016, with some Filipino firms already established there namely United Pharma, Liwayway Corporation, Asia Brewery, Splash Corporation, Manila Water, ComWorks, and Universal Robina Corporation.

Police have reported killing more than 2,500 people, while rights groups say there have been more than 5,000 other deaths linked to the drug war.

"The drive against corruption, criminality and drugs will resume and it will continue and it will be brutal".

He is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha. International Criminal Court? Impeachment?

The counterpart bill still has to go through another 3 readings in the Senate.

For this upcoming visit, the President will not meet King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. Before the reception dinner, the signing of MOUs to be witnessed by both leaders include an agreement on cooperation in the field of science and technology, five-year cooperation in tourism and cooperation in swamp and dairy buffalo production.

"Our visit in Myanmar with the President will talk about planting of hybrid rice on 14,000 hectares in their country", Lim said.

The Filipino president came to Thailand on Nov 9 past year to pay his respects to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on Oct 13.

Criticizing US diplomacy, Duterte noted that Obama's team always prepared for negotiations with the Philippines by digging up dirt on alleged human rights abuse being committed there.

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