LOOK: PH lawmakers' 'very cordial' meeting with Malaysian PM Mahathir
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led Filipino lawmakers’ courtesy call on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday, March 7.
The contingents from the Senate and the House of Representatives gathered at the Makati Shangri-La hotel to meet Mahathir, who is in Manila for a two-day visit.
Arroyo said the 30-minute meeting was "very cordial," as the legislators sought Mahathir's advice on economic affairs.
"[It was] very cordial and of course, he's a very wise old man so the legislators were asking him a lot of advice and queries about the successes of his economy," said the Speaker.
The Pampanga 2nd District congresswoman said they also praised the Malaysian prime minister for advocating "a distinction between the fundamentalism and the proper interpretation" of the Koran.
They also discussed with Mahathir the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which abolished the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and replaced it with the more powerful Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
"As far as policy is concerned, the biggest role of Malaysia in the time of [Mahathir] was his role in the peace process, and there is now the Bangsamoro which we reported to him and we are quite sure that he will be proud of the outcome of the work we did before," said Arroyo.
The creation of the BARMM took center stage in the discussions between Mahathir and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday. (READ: Mahathir sees Bangsamoro region boosting PH-Malaysia economic ties)
Mahathir, however, warned the Philippines against letting in foreigners who could "disturb the political equations," as Duterte's pivot to Beijing continues to spark an influx of Chinese workers. – Rappler.com