Malacañang says world's admiration gained from ASEAN Summit
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang apologized for inconveniences caused by the hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits but said the Philippines gained much in return.
"Siyempre, mayroon pong naabala, lalong-lalo na doon sa closure ng EDSA. Pasensiya na po kayo. Ang naging kapalit naman ay 'yung paghanga ng buong daigdig sa kakayahan ng bansang Pilipinas," said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Thursday, November 16.
(Of course, there were those who were inconvenienced, especially due to the closure of EDSA. We apologize. But what we got in exchange is the admiration of the whole world on the capability of the Philippines.)
ASEAN lanes dedicated to VIPs and delegates, closure of entire roads, and tightened security led to traffic jams in Metro Manila. Baguio City was not spared from traffic, as residents from the capital region trooped to the vacation capital to maximize the long weekend due to school and work suspensions over the Manila Summit.
Still, Malacañang considers the ASEAN Summit hosting a "tremendous success."
It said the fact that no major security-related incident like explosions or acts of terror occured during the 4-day event "proves that the Philippines is safe to visit."
The successful hosting also helped raise Duterte's stature globally, said Malacañang.
"The world community now recognizes, not only the fact that the Philippine President is not just the president of the Philippines, a leader of Southeast Asia, but a recognized leader in the international community," said Roque.
Malacañang also responded to criticism from opposition lawmakers that the ASEAN Summit was a “failed PR stunt” and a “monstrous and glitzy photo op” that wasted Filipino taxpayers’ money.
"Obviously, they did not know what happened behind closed doors," shot back Roque.
"I can assure you that the threat of nuclear amelioration is not a matter of pageantry, that the need for peace and stability on the South China Sea is not a matter of pageantry, and of course the issue of terrorism and the fact that terrorism today knows no territorial boundaries is not pageantry,” said Duterte’s spokesman.
He advised the opposition to read “the official accounts of how the summit went.” – Rappler.com