News Release

PBBM speech in Shangri-La Dialogue excellent articulation of PH challenges in WPS, Indo-Pacific developments — experts

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. made an excellent articulation of the maritime challenges of the Philippines and the developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

This was how De Las Salle University (UP) professor of International Studies Renato de Castro rated President Marcos’ recent keynote address for the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

During a forum in Quezon City on Saturday, De Castro said the President was able to raise awareness on the issues confronting the South China Sea, especially when he discussed about the “seven realities” faced by Indo-Pacific nations.

He also said President Marcos also hit the nail when he talked about US-China rivalry and its effects on the region.

“Ang dating ng ating Presidente, yes, this is something of course that we have to be wary with. Pero at the same time, this is also an opportunity for us na hindi natin ‘to ma-ignore. We have to face it fair and square,” he said.

“We cannot be like, for example, some ASEAN countries na they don’t want to be involved in this strategic competition in a way the president is saying. You know, it’s happening within our midst. This is something that we have to face,” he added.

De Castro said the President has articulated well before the global defense forum the security challenges of the Philippines and how it plans to deal with them through international rules-based order.

Professor Don McLain Gill, also of the DLSU, joined De Castro in appreciating the message of the President for the international defense stakeholders.

“Exactly what Professor de Castro has mentioned, napakaimportante po ang inisyung statement ng ating Pangulo. Na set po ang parameters ng ating bansa sa Indo-Pacific, sa buong international system na hindi na po ito up for debate,” McLain Gill said, referring to the disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

“Our international waters, our exclusive economic zone, our territorial sea are all founded and based and rooted in international law,” he added.

McLain Gill said President Marcos also made clear before an international audience the Philippine’s vision on the region by mentioning the “three constants” that would guide its nations in facing the challenges ahead.

In his speech, the President said the Indo-Pacific’s abiding compass are as follows: first, the sovereign equality of states must remain sacrosanct. Second, ASEAN and ASEAN-led processes must remain central. And third, the rule of law and the integrity of multilateralism must prevail. | PND