PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Thursday evening wished Korea's first female president luck in leading her nation even as he reaffirmed the friendship between the Philippines and Korea.
At a state dinner hosted by Korean President Park Hyun-hye, Aquino recalled how his late father former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., as a war correspondent, saw how Filipinos and Koreans fought together in the Korean War.
"Indeed, your presidency is itself historic. Just as my mother was the first Filipina to lead my country, you hold the unique privilege of serving and leading your nation as its first female president. It is my hope that you will find the resilience and strength to guide your people towards a more vibrant future for Korea," he said.
He said the Philippines and Korea had been partners in the past, and now "remain committed to assisting one another, standing shoulder to shoulder in working to foster peace, stability, and cooperation in our part of the world."
"We are working for the joint development and progress of our respective peoples. The Philippines in particular enjoys many tangible signs of how mutually beneficial our relationship is," he added.
Aquino also reassured the Korean president that Koreans in the Philippines are experiencing "hospitality and friendship that are characteristic of the Filipino nation."
He thanked the people of Korea for their welcome to him and to nearly 50,000 Filipinos who now live "dignified and productive lives" there.
On Friday, Aquino is to receive certificate of recognition in honor of his father at the Hall of Heroes, War Memorial of Korea.
He will speak before the Korean Business Community at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and have business meetings and an interview with CNN-Korea, then meet with the Filipino community before returning home