Duterte's PDP-Laban inks deal with North Korea's party
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban signed a cooperation agreement with the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) led by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The agreement was signed on July 18 by former Senate secretary Lutgardo Barbo, PDP-Laban vice president for the Visayas, and Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of WPK's central committee. Rappler obtained a copy of the deal on Tuesday, August 7.
The deal, seeking to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two ruling parties, was borne out of a "desire to pursue and promote the profound friendship and fraternal bond."
"[It is] based on the principles of trust and equality and guided by the idea of independence, peace, and friendship," the 3-page document reads.
What's the agreement about? PDP-Laban and WPK agreed to:
- contribute to the promotion and expansion of bilateral cooperation between the two parties
- exchange congratulatory messages on important occasions including the anniversaries of founding of the parties
- conduct bilateral consultations and exchange of information on party development, youth cooperation, and other areas
- conduct exchange of visits by party delegations, organize meetings to boost bilateral initiatives, and undertake multilateral seminars and dialogues for the promotion of regional and world peace (READ: North Korea still building at nuclear site, says monitor)
The deal comes amid global efforts to disarm the isolated, nuclear-armed North in exchange for easing of sanctions and other help with economic development.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, said they are again invited in September for North Korea's 70th founding anniversary.
What are PDP-Laban's other partnerships? In July, PDP-Laban sent a 4-member delegation to Pyongyang led by Barbo, public information committee chairman Ronwald Munsayac, Raymundo Roquero, and Evan Rebadulla.
Under Duterte, the Philippines has rekindled ties with Russia and China as part of his administration's so-called independent foreign policy.
Duterte has repeatedly slammed the Philippines' traditional ally, the United States, for supposedly interfering with domestic affairs, including his bloody anti-drug campaign. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com