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Belgium’s Princess Astrid cancels visit to Philippines

MALACAÑANG respects the cancellation of Princess Astrid’s visit to the Philippines.

“She has her own standards by which she has to act. Although we have not gotten any formal communication regarding those matters, this is —in a sense — a matter of speculation. Although we respect her values, we respect her position,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

Abella was reacting to the  decision of Belgium of putting off the scheduled visit of Princess Astrid to the Philippines in May 2017 over President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he would be happy to slaughter three million drug addicts.

A report on The Brussels Times quoted Brussels State Secretary for External Trade Cecile Jodogne telling La Libre Belgique that a visit to the country would be “difficult.”

Princess Astrid, sister of Belgian monarch King Philippe, was set to lead a high-level economic team to the Philippines to discuss possible investments.
   
Jodogne said she would propose to the Agency to move the royal visit to another country. If this was not agreeable, the Belgian government would not send a political representative.
   
“I’m not saying no-one should go to the Philippines at all, but the problem right now is timing,” she said.