Marcos: Essence of trilateral summit is security, freedom of navigation in SCS


President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. said Wednesday that the essence of the discussions in the trilateral summit in Washington, D.C. would be the security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

In an ambush interview, Marcos was asked what specific commitments and deals the Philippines could expect from the trilateral summit with United States President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

''Well, this is essentially an agreement between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines. Our cooperation in terms of maintaining security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. That is the essence of it,'' Marcos said. 

''And, of course, it will contain more details in the sense of how, in terms of cooperation, it will be implemented. So, that is what we are going to discuss now when we go to Washington and speak with Prime Minister Kishida and with President Biden,'' he added. 

Marcos is set to leave for the US this afternoon for the trilateral summit. 

Marcos had said the Philippines' trilateral engagement with the United States and Japan is meant to maintain the peace in the Indo-Pacific region and not to win any conflict in the region.

Earlier, United States Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said the trilateral summit next week would bring closer coordination on South China Sea issues. —VAL, GMA Integrated News