Manila calls for collective efforts to combat terrorism

Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo talks to Arab News at her office in Manila on Tuesday. (AN photo)
Updated 18 September 2019

Manila calls for collective efforts to combat terrorism

  • Attacks on Saudi oil facilities a ‘wake-up call’ to the world, VP tells Arab News

MANILA: The Philippines on Tuesday called for collective international efforts to combat terrorism in the wake of strikes on Saudi oil facilities.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Vice President of the Philippines Maria Leonor Robredo said that the attacks were a “wake-up call” to the world and threatened not only her country’s economy but also Filipinos working in the Kingdom.

“I know for a fact that Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of combating terrorist activities. Now that we have heard of the recent attacks last week in the Middle East, it is another wake-up call for all of us that the threat is still there,” she added.

Speaking at her office in Manila, Robredo said that such strikes would have a negative impact on the Philippines. “The attacks are not just expected to affect our economy, but also the future of Filipino workers who reside there (Saudi Arabia).”

On Tuesday, Reuters reported a drop in oil prices. Oil ended nearly 15 percent higher on Monday, with Brent logging its biggest jump in more than 30 years amid record trading volumes.

“My stance is that attacks will continue if we will not step up as a community of nations in really working together, doing collective efforts to combat terrorism,” said Robredo.


Following Saturday’s coordinated drone hits on key Saudi oil sites, the Philippine government convened an emergency meeting afternoon to discuss the situation.

Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also expressed concerns about the possible impact of the terror strikes, particularly on oil prices and supplies to his country.

“This is serious. It will — not could — affect us deeply; to put it bluntly, an oil shortage or steep rise in oil price will rock the Philippine boat and tip it over,” Locsin said on Twitter.

Following Saturday’s coordinated drone hits on key Saudi oil sites at Khurais and Abqaiq in the Eastern Province, the Philippine government convened an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon to discuss the situation.

Present during the meeting held at the Department of Energy (DoE) headquarters in the city of Taguig were officials of the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, Industry Management Bureau, the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the National Power Corporation (NPC), the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC), and the PNOC-Exploration Committee.

“We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country,” Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.

“Rest assured that the DoE, together with the entire energy family, is closely monitoring the situation, and will keep the public properly informed of developments on the matter,” he added.

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.