Philippines donates $300,000 for Myanmar minority

By Christina Mendez

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ROSES FOR SUU KYI: President Duterte talks with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw yesterday, during which he gave her a bouquet of roses.

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte handed over yesterday to Myanmar the Philippines’ $300,000 contribution to humanitarian efforts to Rakhine State where a team of United Nations special rapporteurs expressed concerns on extrajudicial killings, gang rapes and possible ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the region.

Duterte met yesterday with top leaders of Myanmar, including Special Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, the Radyo ng Bayan reported.

Like the Myanmar leaders who were subject of a UN probe over human rights concerns on the Rohingya minority, Duterte has ignored the UN’s expression of concern over extrajudicial killings in his administration’s drug war.

Duterte was given arrival honors at around 2 p.m. at the Presidential Palace before the signing of the guest book.

He then went into a bilateral meeting with Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw, which was followed by the signing of the memorandum of understanding on food security and agricultural cooperation.

When it was time to meet with Suu Kyi, Duterte gave her a bouquet of red roses.

The democracy icon thanked the Philippines for its donation.

“The thoughtful gesture of the government of the Republic of the Philippines reflects the ASEAN solidarity and family spirit as well as the traditional bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” Suu  Kyi said.

The President invited the woman leader to visit the Philippines.

Duterte’s visit to Myanmar was aimed at improving trade and investment relations and regional cooperation.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who is with the President’s delegation, posted on his social media account details of the Myanmar visit.

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