(The Philippine Star) | Updated April 28, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Power went off as President Duterte started his speech for the toast in honor of Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bokiah during the state banquet prepared by Malacañang for the visiting leader last night.
There was no immediate explanation from Palace officials as to why the power interruption that lasted for about 20 seconds occurred.
Everyone stayed calm and when the lights came back, Duterte went on with his speech, welcoming Bolkiah anew for the “awaited reunion.” Duterte visited Brunei last October as part of his ASEAN tour being the country’s new leader.
“To the good health and well-being of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and the members of the Royal family, that your continued success and development of Brunei Darussalam and of its people,” Duterte said, before proposing a toast.
Duterte, who described Brunei as a most valued friend and an ally, also called for “further deepening” of the ties of the two countries. “… may the future witness heightened engagement between our nations, our government and our people as we forge ahead with strength and perseverance in achieving our mutual aspirations,” he said.
Bolkiah responded by saying that he is “pleased that we are enhancing our ties with greater cultural cooperation that will promote the richness and diversity of our odds in culture.”
“Our bonds of friendship are also reflected (in) the presence of 23,000 Filipino nationals working in our country,” Bolkiah said. “They comprise a community making significant contribution to our socioeconomic development,” he added.
“I’m pleased that our economic ties are also progressing. This will create a more conducive environment for our business, people, to network and collaborate to promote closer linkages,” he said.