News Release

PBBM: PH acts to protect national interest, maintains independent foreign policy


The Philippines maintains an independent foreign policy, contrary to some claims that it is tightening its ties with the US and moving away China.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. made the remark during the question and answer segment after his keynote speech at the Lowy Institute in Melbourne on Monday.

President Marcos clarified that the Philippines continues to enjoy its independent foreign policy, which means it is making its own policy decisions and acts to protect its national interest.

“And I always wanted to make it clear, because there is a narrative out there that is going around that we are at the beck and call, practically, of the United States when it comes to these foreign policy decisions, especially surrounding the South China Sea,” Marcos said.

“But let me make it very, very clear. The Philippines acts for its own interest, and the decisions that we make when it comes to foreign policy are decisions that we make because we believe, and are convinced, and know that it is in the national interest,” he added.

He said the concept of the old bipolar cold war formula in which smaller countries like the Philippines identify themselves with either the United States and the Soviet Union, and in the present time, China, no longer applies.

“So, it really goes back to a rejection by the Philippines of the— a regression into the old bipolar cold war formula. Wherein the smaller countries such as the Philippines were basically forced into choosing, you choose to be with the United States, so with the Soviet Union. And in a way it is a simpler time and it was easier perhaps for countries to make that decision. That is no longer relevant. That no longer applies,” he stressed.

The President emphasized that the Philippines maintains its ties with China as it “is an important neighbor” and is an important partner, which dates back in 1976.

He added the Philippines also remains its partnership with the US, which serves as the stabilizing force between the two countries.

“We need for it to continue to be a force for the good, we cannot allow it to overtake, as I said in my remarks, to overtake what the essential priorities of the Philippines,” he said.

“Our foreign policy is grounded and anchored on the continuing promotion and work for peace, and the continuing promotion and work for the national interest of the Philippines. And that is what guides us, that is the principle that we follow, and I think it is the right one,” he added.

President Marcos is participating in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne, Australia. PND