MANILA, Philippines – Indonesian President Joko Widodo will arrive in the country tonight as foreign ministries of the Philippines and Indonesia for his official three day visit.
Widodo is scheduled to meet with President Marcos at Malacañang tomorrow. During their discussion, the two leaders will review the advancements made in the relationship between the Philippines and Indonesia, which stemmed from Marcos’ official trip to Jakarta between September 4th and 6th, 2022, as stated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“The two leaders are also expected to reaffirm their commitment to deepening and expanding Philippines-Indonesia ties, especially as the two countries will celebrate their 75th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations in November 2024,” the DFA said.
Widodo’s upcoming trip signifies his last official visit to Manila as the President of Indonesia, given his impending retirement from politics next month ahead of Indonesia’s general election scheduled for February.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo is scheduled to hold discussions with two high-ranking foreign diplomats in Manila before embarking on visits to at least three countries. During these trips, he aims to advocate the Philippines’ stance on diverse global matters.
Manalo is slated to convene with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi for the 7th Philippines-Indonesian Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC). Additionally, he will meet with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during her visit to Manila from January 11th to 12th as part of her broader tour encompassing the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, Migrante International restated its plea for clemency and release of Mary Jane Veloso, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who has been on death row since 2010. This appeal coincides with the arrival of Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Manila for his official visit.
“We are calling on Marcos Jr. to raise the issue of Mary Jane’s clemency and freedom when he talks to Jokowi,” the group said in a statement.
Manila views Jakarta as one of its key and highly valued allies within the region. Both nations share founding membership in ASEAN, APEC, and ASEM. Indonesia played a crucial role in mediating peace discussions between the Philippine government and the Moro rebels. Additionally, Indonesia stands as the Philippines’ fifth-largest trading partner, fifteenth in terms of export destinations, and second in supplying imports, accounting for a total trade volume of US$13.9 billion in 2022.