Duterte meets with 4 ex-Philippine presidents at national security meeting

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - A National Security Council Meeting brought Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte together with all four living past presidents.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with all four living past Philippine presidents in Malacañang Palace during the National Security Council Meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Benigno Aquino III,  Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (currently congresswoman of Pampanga), Joseph Estrada (currently mayor of Manila) and Fidel Ramos were seen in a photo with Duterte ahead of the security meeting.

Arroyo returned to Malacañang six years after her term and after recently being acquitted of plunder for which she has been detained for four years.  

In a video release by state-run PTV 4, Aquino was seen shaking hands with Duterte and Ramos upon arriving at the state dining hall. Aquino, who jailed Arroyo, however, did not shake hands with her.

“The President will lead the NSC in a multi-partisan dialogue in order to agree on vital policies and strategies on important matters, including the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the West Philippine Sea,” Malacañang said.

The United Nations ruling on the Philippines’ maritime dispute with China will be discussed in the meeting. Also on the agenda are the country’s problems on terrorism, drugs, and criminality.

Other officials who attended the event include Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and Cabinet secretaries.