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JUNE 7, 2016

NR # 4224

Speaker Belmonte hopes Duterte administration will confront West Philippine

Sea and Southeast Asian integration issues with wisdom and resolve
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. today expressed hope that the incoming administration of
President Rodrigo Duterte will confront with resolve and wisdom the challenges facing the country today
mainly the integration of the economies of the Southeast Asian region and the dispute in the West
Philippine Sea.
Our country must be primed to take a leading role in the integration of the economies of the
Southeast Asian region. The dispute on the West Philippine Sea will test the mettle of the next
administration in diplomacy. We hope that the incoming administration will confront these challenges
with wisdom and resolve, Belmonte said.
The Speaker wished the Duterte administration well during his speech at the sine die adjournment
of the Third Regular Session of the 16th Congress.
Belmonte noted that the incoming administration had already declared war on drugs, poverty and
all forms of corruption. Moreover, it has vowed to prioritize education and health care for our people.
Belmonte exhorted his colleagues who would be part of the 17th Congress to help the Duterte
administration by passing the necessary laws for the countrys development and progress while exercising
its oversight powers.
Let us strengthen our resolve to help the incoming administration by crafting and formulating
laws required to move our country forward even as we exercise our powers of oversight, said the
We welcome the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with high hopes
and unwavering faith in our collective love for the Filipino nation. Whatever changes or reforms the
incoming administration may pursue, we hope that it will further strengthen and continue the reforms
initiated by the Aquino administration, continued the Speaker.
He said President Aquinos single-minded dedication to his duties and responsibilities and his
unblemished integrity has gained the admiration and high regard of other countries in the countrys
economic and geopolitical endeavors.
The campaign against corruption has been the hallmark of his administration. The
accomplishments of the outgoing administration are remarkable so let me take this chance to say,
congratulations and thank you, Mr. President PNoy, Sir. Thank you for your trust, confidence and
support, said Belmonte.
He also urged his colleagues to continue to serve the country responsibly and in fulfilment of their
constitutional duties as they have done in the 15th and 16th Congresses.
My dear colleagues, the 15th and 16th Congresses have done their level best. We are proud of
what we have accomplished. We have performed our constitutional duties, without fear or favor. Let us
all continue to serve our country with honor and dignity, said Belmonte.

According to him, the Aquino administration and the 15th and 16th Congresses have put in place
a sound and viable economic foundation for the country, as well as the policies and the infrastructure
But the challenges confronting us remain daunting and formidable, he stressed.
With the lawmakers as his friends and inspiration, Belmonte vowed to endeavor to remain in the
service of the people in any capacity whatsoever, for as long as I am able and for as long as our people
need me.
He said it has been a memorable privilege and honor to have been Speaker for the 15th and 16th
I am deeply grateful for your cooperation and support. I will always treasure your friendship and
the camaraderie we shared in the service of the people, said Belmonte.
He thanked their colleagues in the Senate, led by the 15th Congress Senate President, Juan Ponce
Enrile, and 16th Congress Senate President Franklin Drilon. My personal gratitude and utmost respect,
congratulations to our colleagues who will be joining the Senate in the 17 th Congress Senators-elect
Win Gatchalian and Manny Pacquiao, said Belmonte.
He also thanked House Deputy Speakers Henedina Dina Abad, Giorgidi Gigi Aggabao,
Sergio Serge Apostol, Pangalian Ali Balindong, Carlos Caloy Padilla, Roberto Robbie Puno, to
Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales II and Minority Leader Ronaldo Ronnie Zamora for keeping the
house in order.
I have so far spent a total of 15 years in Congress surrounded by the best and the brightest.
Through five congresses, I was in the company of true visionaries, of statesmen, of principled reformists,
of genuine revolutionaries, of talented strategists, of articulate debaters, of skilled politicians, and of
dedicated advocates. But more than being any or all of this, with all of you, I was truly in the company of
a band of brothers and sisters. And for this, I am forever grateful to all of you, said Belmonte. (30) rbb