Aquino to push for code of conduct in Asean meet

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President Aquino delivers a short speech at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 before leaving for Brunei Darussalam to attend the Asean summit. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN—The two-day summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) opened here Wednesday night with the Philippines looking to Brunei to push for an early conclusion of talks with China on a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

The summit chairman, Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, opened the summit by hosting a dinner for the nine other Asean leaders, except for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak who sent a representative, at the spanking new Prime Minister’s Office.

Pushing for code of conduct

President Aquino, who arrived Wednesday night for the opening, said he would push again for the code of conduct to minimize the risk of conflict in the South China Sea, which the Philippines refers to as West Philippine Sea.

In a departure statement in Manila, Aquino said that under the sultan’s leadership, “we have full confidence we can move forward on equal terms on this issue.”

“That is one of the aims of the President: to push for the code of conduct in the South China Sea,” Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Nestor Ochoa told reporters at the Philippine Embassy. “This time, we are hopeful that Asean will finally agree to have a consensus in pushing for the code of conduct at least within the year.”

Retreat Session

Today, the leaders will attend a Retreat Session, whose agenda is expected to include overlapping territorial claims over the South China Sea between Asean and China, and the tension in the Korean Peninsula.

The Philippines would push for the full implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and for the early conclusion of a “substantive and legally binding” code of conduct, foreign officials had said.

Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Philippine permanent representative to Asean, indicated that Manila was looking to Bandar Seri Begawan to take the lead in pressing for negotiations on a code of conduct with Beijing.

“In this summit, this issue will be tackled. I think the chairmanship of Brunei would like to be able to come up with a statement that is constructive toward maintaining peace and stability in the region,” Buensuceso told Radio TV Malacañang.

Since the format of the summit is informal, and the leaders could raise any issue, she added: “We’re not going to rest on our laurels. In this summit we will urge the Asean-member countries to be forward-looking.”

Ochoa agreed that Brunei’s goal would be to push for the code of conduct during its chairmanship of Asean.

“They (Brunei) hope that something would happen to the code of conduct before the end of the year,” he said. “So far there’s no formal consensus yet. Hopefully, Asean will agree among themselves and China is next.”

In the Retreat Session, the Asean leaders would exchange views on regional and international issues, and discuss the Asean community in 2015, its central role and regional architecture, and its future direction.

The Asean leaders would call for an “early adoption” of the code of conduct with Beijing, according to a draft statement to be issued after the summit obtained by The Associated Press.

A code of conduct has been on the agenda of Asean for the last 10 years. China has balked at this, claiming the time wasn’t ripe for it, and preferring to deal with individual claimants.

Asean countries have already crafted the “elements” of the code of conduct, but it was another matter to convince Beijing to sit down at the negotiating table.

South China Sea is being claimed whole by China, and in parts by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as Taiwan.

The Philippines has challenged China’s claim over most of the South China Sea by filing a notification and statement of claim with the United Nations.

Meantime, the Philippines has to deal with the presence of three Chinese surveillance ships in Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) despite an agreement by both countries to withdraw from there following a tense standoff in April last year.

Filipino officials view the continuing incursion as a violation of the code of conduct, a 2002 nonaggression pact that has failed to stop clashes in the South China Sea.

P7-million trip

The government allotted P7 million for President Aquino’s attendance at the summit in Brunei. He will spend less than 24 hours in Bandar Seri Begawan, accompanied by a 51-member delegation, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said.

The delegation includes Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Luwalhati Antonino and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.

The cost covers the charter lease, accommodation, transportation, food and equipment, among others, for Aquino and his delegation.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • superpilipinas

    I hope he succeeds….Go for it PNoy.

    • $42337655

      he’s already in the position, we all should give him a chance; there are already signs of upliftment.

      he should, hopefully, institutionalize the right and correct practices so that even without his leadership, those will run automatically.

      those institutions were debased, corrupted and bastardized during the time of Marcos. it takes time to correct past wrongs; looks like things are pointed the right way. For all our sakes, I hope it holds.

    • bryanbrian

      God speed Mr. President.

      • go88

        For his PSP?

    • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

      dapat
      STAND UP STRONG PRO PILIPINO DEFENSE

      1. develop a consensus with brunei
      and malaysia on eez boundaries
      – minimal contention areas

      2. tuloy pagpalakas ng depensa
      on our own pro pilipino design
      minus imperialist u.s.

      3. pro pilipino defense that strengthens the pilipino economy
      pilipino technology and pilipino capital

    • Barney Stinson

      OMFG… here goes my favorite frenemy!

      I thought you hated the government and PNoy and his “fans”?

      You are one confused mofo.

      • superpilipinas

        He-he-he. So now you realized that you thought wrong. I criticize wrong actions and praise the right. Don’t blindly jump to conclusions out of just few comments

        I voted for Aquino because I thought he’ll do as promised. But he has been deviating and has compromised one principle after another because of his known weaknesses. He turned out NOT to have the strength of his father.

        He’s done many good things. But he is weak that he succumbs to patronage politics at the expense of poor Filipinos.

      • Barney Stinson

        Too much gibberish to read. Whatever.

  • speaksoftlylove

    Aquino should push for “code” of Good Manners and Right Conduct inside his palace.

  • Ronald Diaz

    Can’t we shoot those Chinese who bullied our poor fishermen since Scarborough is our territory? Why is our Navy and Coast Guard are afraid of this Moron Chinese?

    If we continue to ignore this incident they won’t stop and they will think that we surrender it to them freely.
    For the AFP where is your oath?

  • $18209031

    Code of Recognition that the land of Sabah was part of Sulu Sultanate. That should be the goal of this govt in Manila .50 yrs of Malayo Bhumiputras stealing the land from Tausugs is not acceptable amongst ASEAN.

    • anonis_anonis

      maybe you should vote for Kiram as the next President? Gud luck with that :D

  • les21reago

    Kudos tp PDI…

    Now this is NOT an Honest Mistake…The forthwith above PHOTOGRAPH of PNOY is Presidentiable…It connotes a leader with vision and foresight…It commands and portrays the 100 million Filipinos…

    Thank you PDI…

  • noypisiTED

    PNoy was cited by Time’s as one of the world’s 100 most influential persons for having the guts to stand up to China and look at it eye to eye over the latter’s greedy tendency to gobble up the entire West Philippine Sea and North Sea regardless of International and local laws which governed every nation’s right to a piece of the oceans. That’s why we admire PNoy’s courage to defend our nation’s sovereignty over the waters at the West Philippine Sea which China mockingly disregards. Look at what its ships are doing now harassing Filipino fishermen. Calling the United Nations. Please, help knock some sense into the heads of these Chinese bullies and make them understand and obey International laws such as UNCLOS before Filipinos lose their patience and engage these bullies in armed conflict which we will not hesitate to do.

  • Ako_Hiking

    it was reported that over 50 people joined President Aquino on this trip. Does it really take 50 people to do one man’s job? Unless that one man is not doing his job and has 50 other people trying to do it for him. By the way, it appears that the traveling expense will be shouldered by the Filipino people once again.

    • Ellee Bullo

      hay nako naman hanggang ngaun pa ba di mo naintindihan na madalas ang official trip ng pangulo madami dapat kasama kasi ang purpose ng iba ibenta ang pilipinas para sa mga possible investors at ang iba kelangan ng pangulo sa meeting niya at ang iba kelangan sa mga pangangailangan ng ibang Filipino na andun? di na dapat pagdebatehan yan kahit pa 100 ang dala ng pangulo kasi dapat tlga may alalay siya.. at once again kung ginastos ng pangulo ay sa tax ng tao manggagaling at kung ang balik nman kundi doble or triple ok lang yan, hala cge punta ka pa sa ibang bansa at gumastos ka basta ba pag uwi may kapalit na trabaho investments at negosyo

      • Ako_Hiking

        Not true. If the point is to sell the Philippines to foreign investors then they are doing a terrible job because it’s been 3 years and thus far no foreign investors have invested in the Philippines. The trips have not done anything to produce anything fruitful for the country. Take a look at the Davos trip a few months back…what happened there? Nothing! 60 people went…P50M was spent…and still no foreign investors.

      • go88

        Because there is no real will to open the Philippines to foreign investors because this would hurt Abnoy’s friends … imagine the disaster for the aboitz, alcantara, lopez, ayala, sy …. if foreign electricity, telecommunication, water, hard-discount companies entered the filipino market ….

      • Ako_Hiking

        More excuses from you on behalf of the Aquino Administration. Foreign investors are an integral part of having an improved economy. Aquino himself acknowledges that which is why he he went to Davos to try and convince foreign investors to invest in the country. Problem is the investors have not.

      • Ellee Bullo

        so ung pinagmamalaking pag angat ng ating ekonomiya di totoo?… kasi nga sabi mo walang foreign investors, so mali pala ung datus na nag angat ng ekonomiya ng Pilipinas?

      • Ako_Hiking

        Aquino was the one who promised the Philippine that more foreign investors would be investing to help create more jobs in the country…however, he’s failed on that promised.

  • arao_liwanag

    Ang picture nya ay parang gustong sumakmal ng TITI. Walang alam ito maliban sa pag ogom ng TiTi ng kapwa nya lalaki.

    • http://www.facebook.com/yet.jua Yet Jua

      basura ka rin sa isang sociodad….

      • go88

        very defensive hehehe … bakit galit mo? bakla ka ba di ba?

  • go88

    Abnoy wearing suit and tie looks weird .. he looks like a disguised monkey. For sure he looks more natural with his yellow t-shirt.

    • http://www.facebook.com/yet.jua Yet Jua

      basura ka sa isang sociodad….

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