News Release

PBBM: PH committed to defending its territorial rights under international law; thanks Australia for promoting rules-based int’l order

The Philippines is committed to defending its rights within the parameters recognized by international law, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.

In his intervention during the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit Leaders’ Retreat, President Marcos reiterated his position that the country will not yield an inch of its sovereign territory in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Marcos said the rules-based international order emanates from the lessons of history and nations need not repeat history in order to recognize its lessons.

“It is thus my government’s position that we will not yield an inch of our sovereign territory, as we are committed to defending our rights within the parameters recognized by international law,” Marcos said, stressing the responsibility of each state to promote and protect the rule of law and to fend off the use of wanton military might.

“It therefore behooves the Philippines, ASEAN, and Australia, and all like-minded states to exercise the boldness and sense of responsibility to remain committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes and to maintain respect for the rules-based international order and multilateralism, especially in the face of deliberate efforts by others to denigrate, deny, and even violate international law,” he said.

President Marcos thanked Australia and other nations for promoting a rules-based international order grounded on international law and acknowledged ASEAN’s oldest Dialogue Partner’s support not only through statements, but also through concrete initiatives that recognize the Philippines’ rights under international law in the South China Sea.

The Philippine leader also expressed gratitude to Australia for convening the Special Commemorative Summit and the first Leaders’ Retreat for ASEAN this year.

The country hopes that ASEAN continues to collectively and constructively address challenges together, he added, encouraging ASEAN neighbors to frame conflicts not simply as rivalry between major powers, but as direct challenges to the sovereignty of independent states, he said.

Marcos noted that peace is both a global public good and one of humanity’s highest values that no one state should put at risk, for whatever gain or motive.

President Marcos is in Australia for the 50th ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. PND