By Filane Mikee Cervantes

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will travel to Brunei Darussalam for a state visit and Singapore for a defense summit next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Friday.

In a Palace briefing, DFA spokesperson Maria Teresita Daza said President Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos will be in Brunei from May 28 to 29 for a state visit upon the invitation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, and will then proceed to Singapore from May 30 to 31 to speak at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue.

Daza said the President is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Brunei Sultanate and visit the Filipino community there.

“While in Brunei, the President will be meeting with His Majesty, the Sultan,” Daza said. “The President will also meet with the Filipino community where he will highlight the contribution of more than 20,000 Filipinos currently residing in Brunei.”

“There will be a business forum where the President will meet with top members of the business sectors to promote trade and investment relations between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam,” she added, noting that the two countries are strong regional partners and members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

In Singapore, Daza said President Marcos will be delivering a keynote address marking the opening of the 21st edition of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is an annual intergovernmental security forum, which is participated in by defense and military officials and experts, as well as business leaders to discuss critical security challenges around the globe.

“The dialogue will provide a good platform for defense ministers, military chiefs, government officials, and security experts around the world to discuss and address regional and global security challenges,” Daza said.

Foreign Affairs Office of the Asian Pacific Affairs Assistant Secretary Aileen Mendiola-Rau said Marcos’ participation in the summit will be a “distinct honor,” as he will be the first Filipino president to deliver a keynote address at the dialogue.

Daza said President Marcos will also meet with the new leadership of Singapore, President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

The President will also have a brief meeting with the former prime minister and currently senior minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, she added. (PNA)