Philippine president says Suharto "will never be forgotten"
( dpa )- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo expressed condolences for the passing of former Indonesian president Suharto on Sunday, saying he "will never be forgotten."
Suharto , 86, died of multiple organ failure at the Pertamina Hospital in Jakarta. He had been confined since January 4 with severe heart, lung and kidney problems.
Arroyo hailed Suharto for his leadership in the South-East Asian region and contributions to peace building in the Philippines' troubled southern region of Mindanao.
"For these enduring legacies, President Suharto will never be forgotten," she said.
"The government of the Philippines and the Filipino people join me in offering deepest sympathies and condolences on the demise of former president Suharto ," she said in a statement.
Arroyo, who was in the United Arab Emirates for an official visit, said "generations of Filipinos and South-east Asians will remember President Suharto for his key role in regional community building."
"As one of the fathers of the ASEAN, President Suharto was among those who had the pioneering vision of establishing a more peaceful, progressive and prosperous South-east Asian region founded on respect and understanding," she said.
The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.