|Photo by Rappler|
In his three-page arrival speech, the President repeatedly emphasized that pursuing such move of pushing independent foreign policy and sovereign equality is the most important message that he was able to deliver before foreign leaders at the Asean Summits he attended in Vientiane, Laos.
“In relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. We will observe and insist – I repeat, I insist – on the time honored principles of sovereign equality, non-interference and commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes to best serve our people and protect the interests of our country,” he said during the arrival ceremony at the Davao International Airport, September 10.
The President also came from Indonesia to perform "working visit" and talk with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Duterte told reporters that he believes it was the “most telling words” he could say in any international gathering and visits.
He also said that such should cover comprehensively all bounds of governance and international relations.
“It does not offend anybody, but it sends a message that we have every right to pursue an independent foreign policy without interference,” he said.
“In our country, it is the President who takes care of the foreign policy. It’s in the Constitution. And you can be very sure that this power given to me by the Constitution will be used only to promote the best interest of the Republic of the Philippines, nothing more," he added.
All for peace
Duterte underscored that the Philippines under his leadership, in any way, will not pick a fight with any country until reasonable.
“I do not want to pick a fight with any nation now. That is farthest from my mind. I only want to be at peace with everybody doing business with everybody and no quarrels with anybody,” he said.
The President also shared that he is 'satisfied' with the outcome of his first attendance to the ASEAN summits and that he deserves a round of applause.
He added that he managed to engage with the ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners on the issues of "peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region."
“I am happy that I was able to do it during my first. These are the things that… I can sleep soundly well thinking that I have served my country to the best the way I can,” Duterte said.
On the South China Sea dispute, Duterte said he was able to relay the country's stand and concern over the issue.
“I stressed our commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).
And I called on leaders to support the individual and collective effort to bring security and stability in the South China Sea through a rules-based approach for resolving maritime disputes,” he said. AJRSP
Pres. Rody: Pursue independent foreign policy Reviewed by FNPH Correspondent on Saturday, September 10, 2016 Rating: