The relocation of PHL to Jerusalem can be increased in Duterte's visit

Rodrigo R. Duterte
President Rodrigo R. Duterte – AFP

The possible transfer of the Philippine Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will be increased during the visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to Israel, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Referring to "diplomatic officials" in his report on August 22, the paper said: "The Philippines were repeatedly mentioned in December as one of the few countries that could follow the leadership of the US and move its embassy to Jerusalem, a rumor that was shot by Secretary of State Alan Peter Cayetano later that month when he said that the move had not been discussed, but reports about a possible move have increased. "

The Post also noted that the Philippines was one of 35 countries that abstained when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December that condemned the US for the step of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Searched for comments on this possible agenda when Mr. Duterte Israël visits on 2 and 5 September, professor Antonio G.M., professor of law at the University of the Philippines (UP). La Viña said: "Yes, of course you would expect that."

But he noted that the Philippine government must be extra cautious with this "because we also have very, very important relationships with other Arab countries." So why should we take this risk, right? "

"On the side of Israel, probably, that is one of the things they would like to prioritize, but the Philippines can not give priority to that, because we have this relationship with Muslim countries too," he added.

Mr. Duterte is also scheduled to visit Jordan during his trip to the Middle East.

Also wanted for comment, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto C. Abella said: "I have not received such a report."

On Monday he spoke about his trip to Israel. Mr. Duterte said that a delegation of his will would be with restful military and police officers.

"I would go there with some of the retiring military and police officers. Marami Kami (There are many of us). That is my gift to them to serve the country well ", said Mr. Duterte on Monday morning, August 27 in the Libingan ng mga Bayani on the sidelines of the commemoration of the National Heroes Day.

Asked about the purpose of his trip, Duterte said: "I am here because of the 28,000 Filipinos, and it is getting warmer there, and on the Lebanese front there is something to brew, and in Jordan we have 48,000 Filipinos & # 39; s That's why I (Environment Secretary and retired General Roy A.) bring Cimatu to prepare me for that opportunity and in case war breaks out. "

In a telephone interview, University Santo Tomas (UST) political science professor Marlon M. Villarin said: "The presence of the president, especially in Jordan, is a diplomatic statement that this government is very serious when it comes to protecting our overseas Philippine workers (OFWs) that are affected by the current situation in Jordan. "

"In dealing with Israel and Jordan, I think the Philippine government is very serious when it comes to its idea to expand our military capability … It is a way to manifest our independent foreign policy when it comes to military [cooperation with other nations]", Added Mr. Villarin.

Mr La Viña, for his part, said that the Philippine government "just wants to forge links with countries" like Israel and Jordan. – Arjay L. Balinbin

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