Duterte vows to free PH from slavery, drugs, corruption in Vin d’Honneur
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday led the traditional “Vin d’Honneur” in Malacañang, sharing a toast with the country’s leaders and the diplomatic community, as he vowed to free Filipinos from slavery from drugs, corruption and criminality.
“I vowed to address three basic evils that subjected my people, especially the poorest and the disenfranchised to the most unbearable burdens of slavery, or millions of them to drugs, corruption, criminality and a revolution in the south,” Duterte said in his message before the New Year toast.
Despite the challenges faced by his administration, the President welcomed 2017 “with hope and meaningful change for the Philippines and our people.”
“The administration will remain firm in its resolve to hold the corrupt accountable for their deeds. We will make criminals responsible for their actions and we will work very, very hard to finally break the apparatus of the illegal drugs trade,” he said.
Duterte also pledge to cooperate on the issues faced by the international community such as “the scourge of terrorism, natural and human-induced calamities, transnational crimes, hunger and poverty and international disputes.”
“Indeed, as we thrive to be stronger at our core, we hope to do more not just for our own people but for our region and for the world,” he said.
Value friendships, pursue new ones
Duterte said the Philippines would continue to strengthen existing friendship with its allies as the country pursues to create ties with other nations.
“We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress, and prosperity,” he said in front of ambassadors from other countries.
The first six months of the Duterte presidency has been controversial after he has threatened to cut ties with our longtime ally the United States and forge new alliances with China and Russia.
No Robredo at Vin d’Honneur
The annual Vin d’Honneur, held at the Rizal Hall, was attended by government officials, politicians and the diplomatic mission led by Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, the papal nuncio and dean of the diplomatic corps.
Duterte’s Cabinet officials were in full force led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
Only three senators were spotted in the event, which include Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Cynthia Villar. Only a few members of the House of Representatives also showed up during the event.
US Ambassador Sung Kim, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev and Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua were also seen in the event.
Vice President Leni Robredo was not spotted during the event. The Office of the Vice President said he was not invited but Palace has yet to issue a statement regarding this. CDG
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