Duterte may make his first state visit to Brunei in August

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

PRESUMPTIVE Philippine president-elect Rodrigo R Duterte’s first state visit may possibly be in Brunei this August to attend a “purely social gathering” for ASEAN leaders in the sultanate.

The report published by online newspaper MindaNews based in Mindanao, Philippines, quoting the politician’s spokesperson Peter T Laviña, who also announced during a Thursday press briefing Duterte’s plan to visit the Vatican to apologise to the pope.

Laviña said the Brunei gathering “is considered within the first three months of the new administration. He might visit Brunei if the invitation is so extended to meet everyone”.

The spokesperson also said that being a member of ASEAN, Duterte as head of state would still have to visit any of the members of the regional economic bloc first before going to other countries outside Southeast Asia. Duterte’s team will still have to review the state visit protocols of the Philippines before setting out on a visit to other countries, Laviña said.

The 10-ASEAN member countries are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines.

The Brunei Times