Duterte meets with ex-presidents at national security meeting
President Rodrigo Duterte met with former Philippine presidents in Malacañang during the National Security Council Meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Former President Benigno Aquino III, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Fidel Ramos, and Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada were seen in a photo with Duterte ahead of the security meeting.
Arroyo returned to Malacañang six years after she stepped down from office.
In a video release by state-run PTV 4, Aquino shook hands with Duterte and Ramos upon arriving at the state dining hall. Aquino, however, did not shake hands with Arroyo.
In 2011, Arroyo was jailed under the Aquino administration for charges of plunder in connection to the misuse of the multi-million PCSO fund.
Aquino has also questioned the decision of the Supreme Court in acquitting Arroyo. He said his predecessor must be held liable for the PCSO mess under her term.
“The President will lead the NSC in a multi-partisan dialogue in order to agree on vital policies and strategies on important matters, including the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the West Philippine Sea,” Malacañang said.
The United Nations ruling on the Philippines’ maritime dispute with China will be discussed in the meeting. Also on the agenda are the country’s problems on terrorism, drugs, and criminality.
Other officials who attended the event include Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and Cabinet secretaries. JE
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