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Marcos: PH open, welcoming but jealous of all that is Filipino


President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday vowed not to "preside over any process that [would] abandon even a square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power."

"The Philippines has always been open and welcoming to all our foreign friends and visitors.  That is our world view, and that is our culture," Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address.

"But let me be clear. We are very jealous of all that is Filipino," he added.

Marcos did not name China in his address but the Asian power continued to claim areas in the West Philippine Sea.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands invalidated China's sweeping claims over the area.

Beijing has said that it did not recognize the ruling and continued activities in the resource-rich region.

Marcos in previous addresses said his administration would defend the country's sovereignty by talking to China  "with a firm voice."

He also admitted that the Philippines could not afford to go to war against China, a similar stance held by his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

In his SONA, Marcos said the Philippines, under his term, would continue to be a "friend to all and an enemy to none."

"We will be a good neighbor — always looking for ways to collaborate and cooperate with the end goal of mutually beneficial outcomes," Marcos said.

"If we agree, we will cooperate and we will work together.  If we differ, let us talk some more until we develop consensus," he added.

Marcos said his commitment to maintaining good relations with other nations, as he aims to continue promoting stronger and multi-faceted ties with "partners around the world."

"The partnerships and alliances that we make with all will provide the stability that all nations will need to emerge into the new global economy," Marcos said. -NB, GMA News

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