Duterte will push trough with 'historic' visit to Israel despite huge costs

Duterte will push trough with 'historic' visit to Israel despite huge costs

The historic visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Israel will push through even with the expected high costs it will entail.

Duterte will push through with the visit making it a historic one since he will be the first Philippine president to do so.
(photo credit to owner)

“Pupunta ako ng Israel, why? Because it is heating up. There are 28,000 Filipinos there. I have to go to Jordan because there are 48,000 Filipinos. I have to make sure,” Duterte said during his speaking engagement with the during the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Cebu city.

The President explains that Department of Environment and National Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu will be sent there ahead of him to check the current plight of Filipino workers amid the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Cimatu has had experience being appointed as former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s special envoy to the Middle East who handled the repatriation of Filipino workers in times of conflict.P rior to being appointed as Secretary of the DENR by Duterte he served as special envoy for overseas Filipino-refugees.

A few days ago Duterte was entertaining thoughts about proceeding with the trip to Israel and Jordan due to the expensive travel costs it will entail for the government. He claimed that he is willing to take a commercial flight but was supposedly vulnerable to a missile attack.

In jest he joked that he was ready to die if he is assured “ a place beside Jesus Christ.”

MalacaƱang announced that President Duterte accepted the invitation of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Israel from September 2 to5. From Israel Duterte will travel to Jordan the next month.

 The visit will be a first for a Philippine President since diplomatic ties were established between the two countries in 1957.

President Manuel L. Quezon has been credited for the enduring friendship between Filipinos and Israelis, which began when he accommodated to the Philippines an estimated 1,3000 Jewish refugees who were fleeing the infamous Holocaust of Nazi Germany.

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Report from Manila Bulletin

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