LOOK: Duterte, 4 past presidents historic meeting in Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines - In a rare show of unity, an incumbent President and all living past Presidents of the Philippines joined hands to show support for the country’s first National Security Council (NSC) meeting under the Duterte administration in Malacañang on Wednesday, July 27.

Duterte, 4 past presidents meet for national security concern
President Rodrigo R. Duterte with former president and Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada, former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former President and Special Envoy to China Fidel V. Ramos and former President Benigno S. Aquino III before the start of the National Security Council Meeting at the State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.  Photo: ACE MORANDANTE/PPD
“This is the Philippine Team,” former President and special envoy to China Fidel V. Ramos said as he got together with President Rodrigo R. Duterte, former President Benigno Aquino III, former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in what can be considered a historic event in the history of the country -- all living Presidents meeting to tackle the country’s security situation.

The unlikely get-together first happened at the President’s Hall in Malacañan, where a photograph with all five of them was taken.

Afterwards, President Duterte convened the NSC, as chair of the collegial body, at the State Dining Hall.

They were joined by the leaders of both Houses of Congress, including peace and security committee chairs, Cabinet Secretaries engaged in peace and security matters such as National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, officers of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Vice-President Leni Robredo.

Former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan, whom President Duterte is eyeing to back up Ramos as envoy to China, was also present.

The NSC is the principal advisory body on the proper coordination and integration of plans and policies affecting national security.

It includes selected officials of the Cabinet and Congress as members, as well as other government executives and private citizens who may be invited by the President.

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