President Rodrigo R. Duterte holds a meeting with Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, who paid a courtesy call on the President at Matina Enclaves in Davao City on March 27, 2019. (Presidential Photo)
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday welcomed Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Central Committee, together with other Chinese delegates in a courtesy call at the Matina Enclaves here.
“I would like to welcome you warmly, and I’d like to tell you that we are very happy with your visit,” Duterte said to the CPC official.
The Chinese Minister and the President discussed issues that would further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
They have also discussed matters of mutual interest, including the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.
Duterte also clarified that the Philippine government had no participation in the case recently filed by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court.
However, the President said, the Philippines is a democratic country and therefore, "we cannot stop people from just filing cases".
He also expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for the "vibrant trade relationship” between the Philippines and China.
Duterte underscored the relentless support of the Chinese government to the "Build, Build, Build Program" of his administration to beef up the nation's infrastructure development.
On the other hand, Song reciprocated Duterte's kind words, saying “If there will be a need of assistance in improving the people's lives, China is willing to help”.
The Chinese official added that they are looking forward to welcoming Duterte to China for a visit next month.
Accompanying Song during the courtesy call were Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, Chinese Consul General to Davao Li Lin and other officials of IDCPC.
With the President were Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, DFA-Mindanao Assistant Secretary Norman Garibay, DFA-ASPAC Executive Director Josel Ignacio, and DFA Principal Assistant Emilio Lopue Jr. (PND)