The Philippines has not yet received any notice of cancelation from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders and representatives despite the terror attacks in Paris, France, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario said the country can expect the participation of all 21 member economies in the APEC summit in Manila this week.
Del Rosario warned the public not to read too much into the reason why a particular leader cannot attend the summit in the country.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier announced that they will not attend the summit, citing domestic issues in their home countries. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla will attend instead.
Del Rosario noted that it is but right for a leader to prioritize domestic issues over attending international meetings with other world leaders.
“You take it as a leader’s priority that if there’s something happening in the domestic front, they do want to pay attention to that especially since this week is a very long week for them,” Del Rosario said.
The DFA official, however, refused to discuss the impact of the Paris attacks on the security preparations for the APEC summit in Manila.
“Security issues should really remain off, you know, off radar. Meaning, we don’t want people knowing what you are doing, right? But definitely, it came that there are heightened security measures,” Del Rosario said.
Del Rosario assured that security at the APEC summit has been heightened due to the incident in Paris but refused to discuss the details.
She added that she has not been informed about the reports that an Islamic State faction based in Mindanao is planning attacks during the APEC week.
Source and image: Philstar