President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday maintained that the country continuously “works for peace” and expressed assurance that the Philippines will not be used as a “staging post” for any military action amid tensions in the region.
The President made the remark in an interview with the press en route to Washington D.C., where one of his agenda is to tackle the “evolving” Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and its longstanding ally, the United States.
“Simple lang ang goal natin sa Pilipinas, we work for peace… We’ll not encourage any provocative action by any country that involves, that will involve the… provocative action that will involve the Philippines by any other country. We will not allow that to happen,” said the chief executive when asked about how he envisions about the Philippines’ role in the Indo-Pacific.
“All we are worried about is the peace and the safety of our people, of here and abroad. And that’s the main consideration. So in my view, that’s the role,” added the President.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also plays a crucial role in “keeping peace” and “lowering tensions in our area,” added the President.
“And I think the best move for us is to stay within ASEAN, keep ASEAN solid, strong, and united. So that, if that’s the case, if we are…at least, we have a consensus and areas of agreement then it will remain strong and that will be… that ASEAN will still be the one to conduct and to lead the political fortunes of all the other countries around Asia,” added the President.
The chief executive earlier watched the live-fire sea drills of the Philippines and the United States to culminate the field training event for this year’s “Balikatan” exercises.
Balikatan, which serves as the largest annual exercise between the Philippines and the US, aims to develop interoperability and enhance bilateral capacities in a wide range of areas, including maritime security, cyber defense, and counterterrorism. (PND)