LABUAN BAJO - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Wednesday the ASEAN should "double its efforts" when it comes to upholding international law in the region.
"In order to harness the potential of our region, I believe that ASEAN must double its efforts especially in these following priority areas: first, ASEAN should uphold international law and the international rules based system which has underpinned the peace, security, stability, and prosperity of our region," Marcos said in his remarks during the opening of the plenary session.
He stressed this a day after he said he would continue to push for Code of Conduct on the South China Sea during the ASEAN Summit.
He said tension in the region would not ease if there is no Code of Conduct.
“You cannot stop trying so yes I will bring that up again. Because when we talk about the issues in the West Philippine Sea, in the South China Sea, hindi magkakalma iyan hanggang wala tayong Code of Conduct,” Marcos told reporters on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the President also said the Philippines welcomes Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship priority of "strengthening regional cooperation to address cross-border crimes particularly trafficking in persons caused by the misuse of technology and to mainstream the protection of migrant workers and their families in crisis situations."
He said this as the Philippine government is a staunch advocate of the protection of rights and welfare of the migrants.
Amid this, Marcos further recognized the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation in synergizing regional efforts towards tackling shared challenges.
“Inter-parliamentary cooperation will synergize regional efforts towards tackling shared challenges such as climate change, transnational threats, and upholding a rules-based international order anchored in international law,” Marcos said during his intervention in the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).
“We thank the AIPA for continuing to support our vision for a rules-based, people-oriented, and people-centered ASEAN," he added.
Marcos suggested maintaining an open communication and effective collaboration between the executive and legislative bodies to harmonize the laws and regulations across the region.
“Through such a partnership, we can realize in the domestic arena agreed strategies for collaboration and identify laws which are needed to harness new opportunities for the region as well as address emerging regional challenges,” he said.
He said ASEAN member states share the same concerns regarding the increasing misuse of innovative technological applications to facilitate trafficking in persons, which, according to him, is "a multidimensional issue that needs concerted cooperation between the legislative and executive bodies in order to be resolved."
AIPA serves as the center of communication and information among member parliaments in the ASEAN.
It aims to encourage understanding, cooperation, and close relations among member parliaments as well as observer member parliaments and other parliamentary organizations.—AOL, GMA Integrated News