President Aquino to discuss peace, trade with Malaysian PM during visit

MANILA, Feb. 19 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III expects to discuss with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak several topics, ranging from the peace process to enhanced trade, during his two-day visit to Malaysia.

In an interview with media, the President said the discussions may take place during his bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister.

“Yung peace, ‘yung trade, ‘yung commerce (We may discuss peace, trade and commerce),” he said, but clarified the claim to Sabah is “not part of the agenda.”

The President noted Malaysia has been instrumental in the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

He added Malaysians have also offered possible livelihood support for MILF members who want to go the way of peace.

On the other hand, the President said he may seek an update on the condition of Filipinos involved in the Lahad Datu incident last year.

Most of these were followers of the late Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, who tried to occupy Sabah and engaged Malaysian forces in deadly clashes.

Several of Kiram’s followers face charges before Malaysian courts.

“Palagay ko kukumustahin din natin ‘yung kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan na nagpunta doon sa Lahad Datu incident (I may ask about the condition of Filipinos involved in the Lahad Datu incident),” the President said.

The President pointed out the Philippine government is continuously monitoring the condition of the Filipinos. He added these Filipinos are represented by lawyers.

“So pinapangalagaan din natin ang karapatan nila through fair and due process (We are safeguarding their rights through fair and due process),” he said. (PNA)