Trump expected to visit PH for ASEAN meet in November


"Our objective is zero incident up to the final ASEAN meeting", said Cuy, who oversees security for more than 140 meetings that the Philippines will host as it leads the 10-nation regional bloc this year. President Rodrigo Duterte will host nine of his ASEAN counterparts in an annual summit in Manila next week.

Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director-general for operations of the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council, said Trump confirmed his attendance verbally during a phone conversation with President Duterte last November. "Many delegates will come", said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Robespierre Bolivar in a press briefing.

"Si Trump, I don't know".

Robespierre Bolivar told a news conference that Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo will go to the United States in early May to attend the meeting between the ASEAN FMs and the US state secretary. "But he seems to be very busy", he said, adding, "If he's coming, it would be good for the country, for all of us".

"We usually expect 100 percent attendance", Paynor told reporters, when sought for confirmation on Trump's attendance on Asean summit later this year.

ASEAN, which is marking its golden anniversary this August, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. "Numerous leaders who do not attend do so because of internal issues", although "one or two" leaders may not be able to attend.

He is also due to travel to Australia.

Paynor said Duterte is scheduled to meet Widodo and Bolkiah on April 28 and 29, respectively.

He said other Asean leaders may have a "pull-aside" with the President, if their request for a bilateral meeting would not push through.

On April 29, he said, all the 10 leaders of the ASEAN nations will convene at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and a "retreat" session at the Coconut Palace, next to PICC.

After the ASEAN meeting, Duterte and Widodo will fly to Davao to witness the launch of the Davao-Gensan-Bitung Roro route on April 30.