PBBM wants Phl peacemaker role

For President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., it is vital for the Philippines to be the leader in peace-making negotiations, at least on a regional level, amid the current geopolitical tensions.

“So we have a very important part to play in that because we have a great interest. It must be a subject of central concern in our foreign policy and in the defense of the nation in the Philippines,” Marcos said at the Manila Overseas Press Club President’s Night in Pasay City on Wednesday night.

Marcos made the remark during a question and answer session when he was asked if he wanted to be the leader in peace-making negotiations amid the Ukraine-Russia war, the US-China tension over Taiwan, and the recent missile testing by North Korea.

The President is confident that taking the lead role in peace-making is good for the nation’s interest, stressing his readiness to engage his counterparts in Southeast Asia to ensure peace and security.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations must be strengthened and united, he said, to make it more responsive to future challenges.

“And in fact, in the upcoming ASEAN conferences 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 said.
The Chief Executive said ASEAN member countries must present a united front.

“I think we should continue to try and push our member neighbors to present that united front and to move that united front forward so that we can say that ASEAN, a geopolitical aggrupation, economic aggrupation, has certainly shown that it has a function to do in the normal scheme of the geopolitics,” he said.

Not enough

He argued that one leader leading peacemaking efforts would not be enough.

Marcos brought up North Korea’s recent launching of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan and Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons.

He supposed that if Russia uses tactical nuclear warheads against Ukraine and it becomes acceptable, it might encourage other nuclear powers to do the same.

“This brings us back immediately to the problem with North Korea because North Korea is the only country in the region who has threatened the use of nuclear weapons,” he recalled.

“And if Russia uses tactical nuclear — hindi na bale ‘yung strategic nuclear weapons, but if they use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine and it becomes acceptable, the tactical nuclear weapons are a 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,” he added.

He believes this would elevate the global uncertainty to a new level.

“So I do not think we have a choice. We must play a leadership role because it is in our interest,” he said.

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