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Marcos back in PH from Indonesia after ASEAN Summit

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. arrived in Manila on Thursday after participating in the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia.

The plane carrying the President and the Philippine delegation landed at the Villamor Air Base at 5:54 p.m.

In his arrival speech, Marcos said he emphasized the importance of upholding the international rules-based system for peace and order in the region during their meeting.

He said the Philippines expressed commitment to the principles of free trade and multilateral trading system.

“[I] called for enhanced support for nano businesses, MSMEs and their integration into the global economy. We continue to work towards long term food, energy security and to address the impacts of climate change among other things,” he said.

The President said he also supported the community building efforts of ASEAN, including the strengthening of ASEAN institutions.

“We also came to an agreement that we would adjust our approach on the situation in Myanmar and to try to engage Myanmar at every level, and to all the political factions that are active and are involved in that crisis situation in Myanmar,” he said.

Marcos said he also expressed deep concern regarding the humanitarian crisis and continuing economic impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war, saying that this contributes “to the global food and energy insecurity.”

On the South China Sea, the President said he affirmed the country’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of the disputes and advocated for a rules-based maritime order anchored on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He also renewed his call for the completion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to finally address the tension in the area.

The President also said that ASEAN should support full membership for Timor-Leste. 

“I encourage also our ASEAN external partners to increase their levels of engagement in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) which is a joint aggrupation of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and to support the BIMP-EAGA’s role as a major catalyst in galvanizing economic development and enhancing connectivity in this vibrant subregion,” he said.

Marcos thanked Indonesian President Joko Widodo for extending his hospitality to the delegation.

“I look forward to continue working with the Chair, Indonesia, and other ASEAN member states as well as ASEAN’s external partners for the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits which will happen in September of 2023 in Jakarta. We will meet to advance our shared goals for a peaceful, secure, and more prosperous region,” he said.

“I believe that the Summit was a success and that it charted the new directions that were initiated by the chairman, President Widodo, and with the concurrence of all the member states and many new ideas were ventilated and many of those were adopted, and we will hopefully see some progress on the political front and certainly on the economy front,” he added. —NB/VBL, GMA Integrated News