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Marcos: “PH won’t be staging post’ for any military action.”

According to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Philippines will not be utilized as a “staging post” for any military action amid the Indo-Pacific conflict.

In a press conference while traveling to Washington, D.C., for an official visit, Marcos assured the media that the Philippines “works for peace” nonstop.

“Our goal in the Philippines is to work for peace, which is simple at heart,”… We won’t support any aggressive action from any nation that includes, that will consist of the Philippines or that involves any other nation. That is not going to happen, said Marcos.

The “evolving” Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and its steadfast partner, the United States, is one of his agendas during his visit to the United States.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he asserted, is the greatest option for the Philippines since it is essential to “keeping the peace” and “lowering tensions in our region.”

“Maintain a strong, united, and stable ASEAN. If that’s the case, he continued, “then if we are…at least, we have a consensus and areas of agreement, then it will remain strong, and it will be… that ASEAN will still be the one to conduct and to lead the political fortunes of all the other countries throughout Asia.

communication directly between Manila and Beijing

Following a near-collision between Chinese and Philippine ships in the West, Marcos called for establishing a “direct communication line” between the two countries.

The President stated that it was a little more risky because they were so near this time. “This is the kind of thing that… we’re hoping to avoid,” he remarked. There could have been many losses on both sides because “Talagang kamuntik na nagbanggaan” (They almost collided).

On April 23, two Chinese Coast Guard warships engaged in “aggressive tactics” toward BRP Malapascua and Malabrigo, respectively, and “intercepted” Philippine Coast Guard vessels near Ayungin Shoal.

A team from Agence France-Presse on board the Filipino boat claimed that the Chinese vessel engaged in “dangerous maneuvers” when it was 50 yards away from Malapascua, which led to a “near-collision.”

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the BRP Malapascua and CCG 5201 and 4202 were involved in similar maneuvers on April 19 as the latter was making its way to Ayungin Shoal.

Marcos emphasized creating a “high-level” communication channel with Beijing to avoid misunderstandings.

“It has not yet formed,” the speaker said. We’re waiting for China to provide us with information regarding who will be our team there,” he said.

According to Marcos, the Philippines has assembled a team and “submitted the names, even the telephone numbers of these people”.

Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping previously affirmed the development of a “direct communication mechanism” during the Philippine leader’s official state visit to Beijing in January.

Although maintaining maritime security is the top priority, Marcos claimed that China has agreed to “sit down” and discuss Filipinos’ fishing rights in the West Philippine Sea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Coast Guard are to draw together a map of these fishing zones and submit it at the discussion, per Marcos’ instructions.

We’ll claim that this is the Philippines and then wait to hear their response when we provide them with our plan, Marcos added.

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