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Aquino back from ‘successful’ Vietnam visit

October 31, 2010 7:26pm

(Updated 8 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III arrived home after almost a week in Vietnam, where he conducted a state visit and attended a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In his arrival speech, Aquino described his visit to Vietnam as a “success," where he said the Philippines not only gained much foreign assistance but also learned much from its neighbors.

Nakauwi na po tayo mula sa isang matagumpay na biyahe sa Vietnam kung saan nakipagpulong tayo sa mga pinuno ng ating mga karatig bansa. Ating pinanindigan na walang pera o pagkakataong masasayang upang tuluyan tayong umusad sa tuwid na landas tungo sa kaunlaran," he said.

(We have returned from a successful visit to Vietnam where we met with leaders of our neighboring countries. We showed we will not waste funds or opportunities to get our nation on the straight road to progress.)

Ako ay galak na galak na makauwi na po (I am very happy to be home)," he added.

No mention of gaffe

While he made no mention of a gaffe by his speechwriter Carmen “Mai" Mislang, he lavished praises on Vietnam during his arrival statement.

Mislang, who made an unflattering tweet about the wine served during Aquino’s state visit in Vietnam, had apologized for the gaffe and deactivated the Twitter account where she made the comment that had drawn criticisms from many sectors.

In his arrival statement, Aquino lauded Vietnam and its people for rebounding from the dark chapter of their history and have improved much in agriculture and infrastructure.

Aquino also cited the Vietnamese people’s efficient use of land and their culture of hard work, as well as their unity and determination. He also said the Philippines showed its neighbors how well its people are doing under a democracy.

Sa kabilang banda naipakita din naman natin sa kanila na maayos rin magpalakad ang isang bansang naninindigan sa isang demokratikong sistema (On the other hand we showed them we can do well under a democratic system)," he said.

Loans, agreements

Aquino added that during his visit, he witnessed the signing of agreements on academic and defense cooperation, oil spill preparedness and response, and search-and-rescue capabilities. He also represented the Philippines in meeting with the leaders of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Russia.

Japan had extended a P21.4-billion loan for road upgrading, which Aquino said will benefit mainly tourism and agriculture.

Aquino also said he relayed to Myanmar the Philippines’ wish for free elections there.

The Philippines also shared its experiences with its neighbors on disaster risk reduction and management, and offered to send a humanitarian team to Indonesia following a devastating quake and tsunami there.

During the ASEAN summit, he said the Philippines played a part in pushing for a more binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, and coordination in disaster risk reduction and management.

Isang karangalan magsilbi bilang inyong kinatawan sa naganap na ASEAN summit (It was an honor to represent the Filipinos in the ASEAN summit)," he said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay and Cabinet members were on hand to welcome Aquino as he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 shortly after 7 p.m.

Government-run dzRB radio reported Aquino met briefly with his Cabinet after he delivered an arrival statement. - KBK, GMANews.TV
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