Japan Emperor, Xi Jinping convey Independence Day greetings to Duterte
MANILA, Philippines – At least two world leaders directly conveyed their Philippine Independence Day greetings to President Rodrigo Duterte – Japan Emperor Naruhito and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Malacañang released statements on the greetings of the two leaders on Friday, June 12.
The Office of Presidential Protocol, headed by Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Borje, said Duterte was "profoundly honored" to receive the "warm greetings and good wishes" of Emperor Naruhito.
The royal's message was described as echoing "the beautiful harmony and goodwill heralded by his ascension to the throne last year." Duterte attended Naruhito's enthronement ceremony in October last year.
"The Philippines values its special ties with Japan, and is committed to further advancing the bilateral Strategic Partnership, which both sides have ushered into its golden age," reads the statement.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi relayed his greetings the night before, Thursday, June 11, in a phone call with Duterte.
According to Malacañang, Xi "extended warm wishes to the President and the Filipino people on the occasion of the 122nd anniversary of Philippine Independence."
Chinese state news agency Xinhua also wrote about details of the phone call. It claimed that Duterte had promised Xi that the Philippines will never be used to harm China.
"The Philippine side will always be a friend of the Chinese people and will not allow anyone to use the Philippines to engage in anti-China activities, said Duterte," reads the Xinhua report.
Malacañang made no mention of such remarks from Duterte.
Greetings from Pompeo, diplomats
So far, Malacañang is yet to announce any other greetings made directly to Duterte by foreign leaders.
But other foreign officials conveyed their greetings through public messages.
United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued a press statement on June 10 greeting the Philippines in behalf of Americans.
He reminded Filipinos of the time when Americans and Filipinos fought together during World War II and how the US-Philippine alliance "is fortified by our shared history, rich people-to-people ties, and deep bilateral cooperation."
US Ambassador Sung Kim tweeted his greetings "to all Filipinos here and around the globe."
United Kingdom Ambassador Daniel Pruce has a video message posted on Twitter where he paid tribute to the "kindness" and "sheer courage" of Filipinos as the country forges through the coronavirus pandemic.
He recited lines from Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio's poem, "Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa" (Love of One's Country).
President Duterte was in Davao City on Independence Day. He designated Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to represent him in the Independence Day rites in Rizal Park. – Rappler.com