Believing that the Philippines must play a huge part in maintaining peace in the region, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. disclosed that he intends to lay out actions the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can take amid various conflicts.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (Photo by Noel Pabalate)

Speaking at the President’s Night organized by the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City on Oct. 5, Marcos bared his intention to make the proposal in future regional meets.

He stressed that the ASEAN must strengthen its organization over regional threats like what North Korea poses to its neighboring countries and other regional concerns like the situation of Rohingya people.

“I think ASEAN can do more than it has done thus far,” he said.

“In fact, in the upcoming ASEAN conferences that are coming up in November, I intend to propose several actions that ASEAN can take specific to the different conflicts that we are seeing in our region,” he bared.

He further said that “if the Philippines can play a part, then that would certainly be a good thing.”

The President articulated that a “united front” in the region must be established, saying that one leader or one state is not sufficient in leading and pushing peacemaking efforts.

“I’m a great a believer in engagement and I think once the lines of communication have closed then any hope of a compromise has ended,” he said.

“I think we should continue to try and push our member neighbors to present that united front and to move that united front forward,” he added.

Nuclear weapons

The President also expressed concern on the recent firing of ballistic missile by North Korea over Japan and Russia’s possible use of tactical nuclear weapons.

“[I]f Russia uses tactical nuclear weapons in the Ukraine and it becomes acceptable that tactical nuclear weapons are conventional weapon then that might encourage other nuclear powers to think in that direction and to now actually use the unthinkable, start using their nuclear stockpiles,” Marcos said.

He further said that the Philippines has a “very important part to play in that because we have a great interest.”

He said it must be a subject of central concern in our foreign policy and in the defense of the nation.

“So, I do not think we have a choice, we must play a leadership role because it is in our interest and if we do not do it, we are not doing our jobs as the protectors of our country, of our state, of our territory, of our people,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (