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WATCH | Duterte meets with leaders of big business

President Rodrigo Duterte (2nd R) tenders a dinner for leaders of big industries including TV5 Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, Hans Sy and Jaime Zobel de Ayala at the Malacanang Palace, January 18, 2017. TVS SCREENSHOT/RTVM
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte met with leaders of big business including TV5 Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, Hans Sy and Jaime Zobel de Ayala over dinner at the Malacanang Palace on Tuesday.

They talked about how to enhance the economy, tax reforms, federalism, contractualization, and giving support to programs in Mindanao.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said, “Their preconceptions regarding the President were settled because of the one-on-one face to face conversation. Many of them have apparently never met the President but this is the first time they had this face to face."

Also present in the meeting was former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin made a courtesy call on the President. He was accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua.

Abella clarified that their meeting had nothing to do with the diplomatic protest that the Philippines filed against China over the weapons systems it had set up in islands in the West Philippine Sea.

Abella drew attention, meanwhile, to the position taken earlier by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, making it clear Manila was not abandoning the arbitral tribunal's July 2016 ruling on Manila's case against China, and that it continued to vith concern China's moves to militarize the area.

On Thursday, the President is to meet with the governors to discuss with them the peace and order situation of the country.