Imee defends Bongbong Marcos over ‘non-mention of nat’l sovereignty in WPS’ in 2nd Sona
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday justified her brother’s decision not to address the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue at his second State of the Nation Address, arguing that it is important to avoid embarking on “a hopeless word war.”
Marcos, who heads the Senate committee on foreign relations, said that the issue between the Philippines and China in WPS should be approached in a “pragmatic and prudent” manner to “de-escalate” the growing tension between the two countries.
“Perhaps that’s what the president [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.] had in mind, that we all calm down, de-escalate tension in the West Philippine Sea and the Taiwan Strait,” Marcos said at the Kapihan sa Senado.
“Not constantly talk about it and embark on a hopeless word war, but rather, to exercise the utmost restraint and tolerance and prudence, at the same time, opening as many lines of communication as possible and exploring all options available,” she added.
During the Sona, the Chief Executive renewed his promise to “protect our sovereign rights and preserve our territorial integrity in defense of a rules-based international order.”
“It is also imperative that our nation remains intact and inviolable – our sovereignty preserved. With our national interests paramount, we will always pursue constant dialogue and diplomatic approaches to the resolution of any issue that may arise. So the initial results of our efforts inspire confidence. Let us continue to be relentless in our aspiration of peace and progress,” he said in his speech.
In response, certain groups expressed dismay over his silence, but the senator claimed the country should open its communication lines and be “creative and innovative” in settling its differences with China.
“Yes, I think that’s the most important thing. Ang sabi kasi ng iba, let’s stop poking the panda. Napipikon tayo, pikon na pikon na sila, anong gagawin natin? Magkakapikunan tayo? Mag-iinitan ng ulo? Saan mauuwi ‘yan?” Marcos stressed.
(Because, as the saying goes, Let’s stop poking the panda. If we are short-tempered and vice versa, what will we do? If we keep on angering one another, where will this go?)
“I think terrible, dangerous mistakes will be made if we carry on like this. And instead, we should be grown-up about all our resentments and our roiling angers. And instead, try to do the very best to de-escalate tension at every opportunity,” she added.