(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)
Presidential Communications Operations Office
Presidential News Desk
REMARKS OF ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU AND PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE DURING THE SIGNING OF AGREEMENTS
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
Thank you. President Duterte welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.
We mark that this is the first visit by a President of the Philippines in the history of Israel. It is deeply appreciated. We remember the exceptional role of the Philippines that received Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
We remember that the Philippines was the only Asian country that voted for the establishment of the State of Israel in the UN resolution in 1947.
Mr. President, we remember our friends. And that friendship has blossomed over the years and especially over the last few years.
We’re gonna sign here today three important agreements in trade, in science and no less important in caregiving.
There has been a remarkable phenomenon in Israel with thousands of thousands of families have taken [heart?] from the support given by Filipino care workers to the elderly.
I am one of those families, Mr. President. My late father died at the age of 102. In his later years received incredible care by a caregiver from the Philippines, a woman who have exceptional compassion and intelligence.
She took care of my father’s every need. And when he passed away, she took care of his brother’s niece until he passed away.
I, like many, many Israeli families, have deeply moved by this show of humanity. And today we are going to sign an agreement that will knock off as much as 12,000 dollars from the cost of every caregiver.
This is the money that is taken away from the caregivers and their families, the Israeli families who so want their service.
This is an exceptional agreement and I think heralds the kind of friendship that we are developing.
And so in that spirit again, Mr. President, I welcome you to Israel. Welcome to Jerusalem. Welcome.
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte:
Good afternoon to everybody. Mr. Prime Minister.
I am very honored to visit the State of Israel. It was an invitation extended.
With that, I hope that this country will continue with its friendly and warm relationship. I’d like to thank the State of Israel for the so many assistance given us.
But I’d be good to mention it. But in terms of the Marawi siege, we got help from your country. Thank you for that.
And thank you for hosting almost 28,000 Filipinos. They have been very happy working here, taking care of the aging population of yours, citizens.
And I have heard that they have been treated as human beings unlike in other places of which I am not at liberty to mention now. But the way that they have been received here was shown last night by their jubilation.
And of course everytime I mentioned about the kindness and benevolence of Israel, you could here a thunderclap and I am sure that they were came from the heart.
Mr. Prime Minister, I can only thank you so much especially the critical help that you have extended my country in time when we needed it most.
The recent trouble in my — the Philippines, the extent of the help that you extended were very critical in winning the war.
I could have dragged on were it not for the very substantial and crucial equipments, which I am not also at liberty to say now. But it was a help to preserve the Republic of the Philippines and I thank you for that.
I thank the State of Israel and the people. And I hope that these ties of us will continue over the years. And I think I have my daughter here who is a Zimmerman. Actually she is a descendant of the Jews, who went to the Philippines and who settled down there many, many years ago during the time of the Holocaust.
We received the Israelis there and their families and I am sure that many of them have spread all throughout the country. And one of them is the family of my daughter. It’s not the daughter but the mother was a homegrown Zimmerman in our place.
Thank you and may we continue to be blessed with a strong relationship. I do not think that there will ever be a time when there is an irritation even between our two countries.
We share the same passion for peace. We share the same passion for human beings but we also share the same passion of not allowing our country to be destroyed by those who have the corrupt ideology who knows nothing but to kill and destroy.
In this sense, Israel can expect any help that the Philippines can extend to your country.
Thank you very much.
1) Memorandum of Agreement on the Temporary Employment of Home-Based Filipino Caregivers
2) Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation
3) Memorandum of Intent on the Collaboration on Promotion of Bilateral Direct Investment