Aquino bares gains from Apec, Asean summits | Global News

Aquino bares gains from Apec, Asean summits

/ 04:33 AM October 12, 2013

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III, looks at the sky as he arrives to attend the Association of Southeast Asia Nations Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. Leaders of the 10 ASEAN members as well as China, Japan and South Korea, will be joined by leaders of Russia, the United Sates and India for the summit meeting in Brunei on Oct. 9 and 10. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The has finally found a firm footing in the international arena, with big players now listening to the voice of the fastest growing economy in the region, President Aquino said in his arrival statement issued late Thursday.

Mr. Aquino described as “successful and meaningful” his attendance from Oct. 6 to 10 at two regional meetings—the 23rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders’ summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, and the 21st Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia.


He said part of the “transformation” under his watch can be attributed to honest governance and his administration’s determination to champion the peaceful resolution of the maritime rows in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).


“All the steps leading to a resolution of  ‘the sea known by many names’ are focused not on individual nations’ own interests, but on active trade, widespread progress and peaceful relations in Asia. For every word we utter, this has become clearer: The Philippines is no longer just a small voice. Now we have a voice that is being heard, respected and supported by many,” said Mr. Aquino.

The President also noted the quick transformation of the country from being the “sick man of Asia” to being the region’s best performing economy through good governance.

In Bali, Mr. Aquino said he had a chance to talk with Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying over the Luneta hostage-taking incident, proving that “reasonable dialogue triumphed over incidents that challenged our relations with Hong Kong.”

Besides calling for the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, he also pushed for the expedited crafting of a binding code of conduct governing the behavior of all claimant-nations.

“We will not allow politics to dictate the direction that Filipinos should tread. Only the interest of many, the dismantling of the culture of corruption and the pursuit of all-encompassing progress are the ones directing each step we take on the straight path,” said Mr. Aquino.

At a Palace briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Mr. Aquino’s attendance to the regional meetings had contributed to enhancing the country’s image abroad and building relationship with other countries.

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TAGS: Abigail Valte, APEC, ASEAN, Benigno Aquino III, Philippine economy, President Aquino, South China Sea

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