Locsin attunes PH foreign policy to ‘changing times’
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has tweaked the Duterte administration’s foreign policy to a more belligerent tone due to “changing realities.”
Hosting his first vin d’honneur at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Nov. 7, Locsin told the diplomatic corps that he had refined his department’s previous policy of “Friends to all, enemies to none.”
“We are moving on to a refinement, which addresses changing realities. It is now ‘Friends to friends, enemies to enemies, and worse enemies to false friends,’” Locsin said.
He also gave his interpretation of the administration’s “independent” foreign policy.
“It is not independent foreign policy if you simply switch the master before whom you are kneeling; you are still on your knees. Independent foreign policy means getting off your knees and on your feet and standing up for our country. That is true independence,” he said.
He cited among the country’s diplomatic successes the handling of the West Philippine Sea dispute, mainly with China; the country’s reelection to the United Nations Human Rights Council despite some nations’ outcry against Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs; and the international cooperation to rehabilitate Marawi City.
“The country was able to advance its interests, derive economic benefits, and contribute to peace and stability in the South China Sea, without surrendering an iota of Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights, not retreating one inch from its rightful and inalienable ownership of everything within the lawful territorial reach of our sovereignty,” Locsin said.
He said he had told his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, that “these differences need not stand in the way of mutually beneficial cooperation in other areas of common endeavor.”
Locsin served as the country’s representative to the United Nations from September 2016 until his appointment three weeks ago as the country’s No. 1 diplomat, replacing Alan Peter Cayetano, who resigned to run for Congress.
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