Defense cooperation also in PNoy's agenda in Malaysia

Posted at 02/27/14 12:45 PM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III will also discuss defense cooperation with Malaysian leaders as he embarks on a state visit in Kuala Lumpur today.

"Our President is expected to tackle several issues of mutual or shared interest in political, economic, and defense cooperation with Malaysian leaders. I believe President Aquino will also witness the signing of a couple of agreements on cultural cooperation and education cooperation," Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. said.

The Philippines has filed another “strong” protest against China after its Coast Guard fired water cannons at Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal last January 27.

The government said it is going the “peaceful” route in pushing for its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea. It said a Code of Conduct is already needed amid the recent developments there.

Besides China and the Philippines, other countries are also claiming parts of the sea: Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam.

Aquino will be on his first state visit to Malaysia from February 27 to March 1.

The government will be spending P9 million for the transportation, accommodation, food, equipment and other requirements of the President and his 57-member official delegation during the trip.

He will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles, Press Secretary Herminio Coloma, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Andrea Abad, Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino, and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.

According to Ochoa, Aquino is also scheduled to meet Malaysian businessmen and the Filipino community in Kuala Lumpur.