Tillerson to meet with Southeast Asian foreign ministers in May

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Trump's administration will work with ASEAN on security issues, trade, and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (East Sea), Pence said.

In a meeting with the Filipino community in Qatar on Saturday, Duterte also described Trump as a "pragmatic" thinker.

The 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings will be held in Manila from April 26 to 29 this year.

Laos has also requested to pay a courtesy call to Duterte, according to Paynor.

He said other country leaders from dialogue partners like Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and South Korea are also expected to attend.

The Philippines aims to finalize the framework COC by the middle of this year. "And this will be culminated by a gala dinner hosted by the President".

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But Mr. Bolivar on Wednesday said: "We can not announce that yet".

"Ito 'yung pagkakataon natin na ipakita 'yung pinakamaganda tungkol sa bansa natin, to show the best of the Philippines", the DFA spokesman said.

"We expect some 4,000 people for that event", Department of Tourism director for Central Luzon Ronnie Tiotuico said in a forum with the Pampanga Press Club.

Paynor, in a press briefing at the Malacañang Palace, admitted that they had more time preparing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015 compared to the time they have for the ASEAN summit. "I think we'll be very delighted to have the foreign ministers here".

Several activities will happen on the 28th, including the Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand Growth Triangle Senior Officials Preparatory Meetings, the Asean Business Advisory Council Prosperity for All Summit; we have the 14th Asean Leadership Forum; the Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting; the 15th Asean Political Security Council Meeting; and the 19th Asean Coordinating Council Meeting.

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