Philippines' Marcos visits Indonesia in first overseas trip as president

September 4, 2022 | 06:36 pm PT
Philippines' Marcos visits Indonesia in first overseas trip as president
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrives for a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, August 6, 2022. Photo by Reuters
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr will meet his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo on Monday for a state visit set to focus on bolstering joint defense and counter-terrorism work between the two neighbors.

The trip by Marcos, the son and namesake of the late ruler who was overthrown in a popular uprising 36 years ago, is his first official venture overseas since his landslide election victory in May.

The two leaders are due to renew a defense and security pact and sign deals on trade, investment and green energy, Philippine press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles told reporters on Sunday.

They are likely to discuss maritime cooperation and border and counter-terrorism issues, she said.

Suicide bombings in both countries, including on churches, and the involvement of Indonesian fighters in the 2017 takeover of the Philippines' Marawi City by Islamist militants have demonstrated what analysts say are linkages between regional extremists.

The Jakarta Post newspaper in an editorial on Monday said the visit would also be a chance for the new president to lobby Widodo on the case of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling.

Marcos, who described Indonesia as one of his country's closest allies before departing for Jakarta, is due to meet business leaders with his economic team later on Monday and will fly to Singapore on Tuesday.

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