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Duterte visits Pakistan’s frigate on goodwill tour

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday toured a Pakistan Navy frigate docked at the Manila South Harbor as part of its three-day goodwill visit to the Philippines.

The President was welcomed by officials of the Embassy of Pakistan to the Philippines and crews of Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) SAIF (FFG-253), one of the four F-22P or Zulfiguar-class frigates of Pakistan.

President Duterte is given arrival honors upon boarding the Navy Ship Saif docked at Pier 15, Port Area, Manila on December 14, 2017. Malacanang Photo

Duterte told the crews that they could drop by the country “any time for any reason.”

Several Cabinet officials led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana joined the President during the tour that lasted almost an hour.

The Chinese-made frigate, with onboard ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) helicopter Z9EC, will stay in the country until December 17.

The goodwill seeks to renew and strengthen the relationship between the Philippines and Pakistan, and to promote friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between the two navies.

President Duterte receives a Pakistan Navy cap from Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Saif Commanding Officer Captain Shahzad Iqbal during the tour of the Pakistan Navy vessel. Also in the photo is Pakistan’s Defense Attaché Commodore Jawad Ahmed. Malacanang Photo.o.

The visit will include a series of confidence-building engagements between the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Pakistan Navy personnel.

Other activities include shipboard tours, visits to national heritage and historical places in Manila, goodwill games, receptions, hosted dinner, and a gift giving at Buhay Tuluyan in Leveriza, Manila. The visit will be capped off with a send-off ceremony.

The PNS SAIF had already been to China and Thailand before arriving in the Philippines. Its next stop will be Malaysia.#