Singapore officials extend warm wishes to Duterte


Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan on Monday have extended their congratulations to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

The letters from Singapore’s leaders to Duterte were posted on the website of Singaporean Embassy in Manila.

Both Lee and Tan, in their respective letters, pointed out the close ties between the two countries.

“Singapore and the Philippines share close ties spanning many sectors, including trade and investment, culture and people-to-people exchanges.  Our bilateral relationship will reach a milestone in 2019, when we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties. As fellow founding members of ASEAN, we cooperate closely to promote regional peace and prosperity,” Lee wrote.

President Tan, meanwhile, said: “Singapore and the Philippines are old friends with strong ties.  Our countries cooperate closely in ASEAN and internationally, including at the United Nations, to promote peace, stability and prosperity.”

The Prime Minister then mentioned the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, which is also the 50th anniversary of the organization.

“I am confident that we will be able to foster closer ASEAN integration amid a complex and fast-changing global landscape,” he said.

Tan, meanwhile, shared his experience in the Philippines during his state visit in April 2014.

“My wife and I were impressed by the economic progress of the Philippines and the resilience of the residents of Tacloban as they worked to rehabilitate their hometown from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda,” he said.

“I am confident that you will lead the Philippines economy to greater heights,” Singapore’s President added.

Before closing his letter, Tan invited Duterte to visit Singapore “at the earliest opportunity.”

In the middle of the campaign period, the Singapore government denied that Lee endorsed Duterte as shown in a photo that went viral online and expressed to seek legal advice over the matter.

Duterte’s campaign spokesperson Peter Laviña, a day after the May 9 elections, admitted that their camp has problems with at least three embassies including Singapore. The other two are Australia and United States