PH should take sides only ‘if our interest is at risk’ – Sara Duterte
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The Philippines should be “neutral” and only make a stand if its “interest is at risk,” vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio said Monday about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“The Philippine interest should always come first. That is the only time we take sides — if our interest is at risk,” Duterte-Carpio said, partly in Filipino, in a media conference. “But if the Philippine interest is not involved, we should always be neutral.”
Asked about the possible implications of the conflict to the country, particularly the looming rise in the price of commodities, Duterte-Carpio said she would make a stand if pushed against the wall.
“If it is a matter of making a stand, if I were the president, then I would be at first neutral until I am pushed against a wall to make a decision for the country,” she said.
“With regard to the effects of the war, that is something that the national government should prepare for,” she added. “The effects of wars are not a secret. It is something that the whole of government should prepare for and not just one Cabinet secretary or one department of the government.”
Shifting to another foreign policy issue, Duterte-Carpio said she would approach the country’s dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea with diplomacy.
“Always with diplomacy, All things with diplomacy. The Philippines is a developing country. We are not a superpower. Every issue, every international issue and conflict we are in, we should use diplomacy,” Duterte-Carpio said.
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