Presidential bets weigh in on Myanmar crisis
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential bets on Sunday gave their positions on the ongoing crisis in Myanmar that followed the rise of a junta that took power in a coup last year.
During the second presidential debate hosted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), labor leader Leody de Guzman said the Philippine government should have a clear stand on the ongoing repression in Myanmar.
“Dapat ay maging klaro ang posisyon ng ating pamahalaan na dapat tutulan ‘yung represyon na nagaganap sa Myanmar at dahil sinusupil nito ang demokratikong karapatan ng mga mamamayan doon,” he said.
(The government should have a clear stand and oppose the repression happening in Myanmar because it violates the democratic rights of people there.)
“Dapat na maipa-alala sa Asean na mayroong matibay na kasunduan ng pagrespeto sa karapatang pantao ng bawat mamamayan dito sa Asean,” he added.
(Asean should be reminded that there is a strong agreement to respect human rights for every citizen in the Asean.)
However, De Guzman noted that the Philippine government should be the first to respect the rights of its citizens.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, for his part, noted that even the Philippines went through a long period of repression under martial law during the presidency of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose son former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is now seeking the presidency.
“Ngayon, ang Myanmar ay in a similar situation. Dapat ang Pilipinas, bilang kabahagi ng United Nations, community of nations na kasama sa UN declaration of human rights, kung hindi man makapanguna, ay sumali o magjoin sa deklarasyon ng Asean countries na manawagan sa ibang bansa at sa Myanmar na rin upang tigilan ang represyon sa kanilang mga citizen,” he said.
(Myanmar is in a similar situation. The Philippines, as part of the United Nations and the community of nations who signed the UN declaration of human rights, should join the declaration of Asean countries to call for other countries and Myanmar to stop repression against their citizens.)
Meanwhile, candidate Faisal Mangondato said the national interest of the Philippines must be protected.
“Dapat po unang-una ‘yung nasyon, ang national interest po natin (our national interest) must be protected based on multidimensional as well as the ecliptic understanding of the situation where the West Philippine Sea is located. Secondly, in our foreign policy, nation must project a united stand,” he said.
Mangondato added that the Philippines should maintain a good relationship with other nations through trade and sharing of culture.
“‘Yan ang ating pananaw para ang political will ng ating gobyerno ay protektahan muna ang kanilang mga tao dito sa Pilipinas bago ‘yung magbigay galang sa ibang mga nasyon,” he said.
De Guzman, Lacson, and Mangondato were the three candidates who talked about the issue during the group debate segment. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao, meanwhile, shared their position on the issue during the portion for rebuttal and comment.
Moreno agreed with Lacson’s response.
“That is the right way, that is the best way for United Nation signatories of that organization na doon tayo magdemand. Tama po si Senator Lacson, kailangan i-demand natin sa mga kasamahan nating bansa na kasapi rin ng organisasyong ito ‘yung kanilang obligasyon,” he said.
(Senator Lacson is correct. We should demand from other co-member countries in this organization their obligation.)
Meanwhile, Pacquiao pointed out that the Philippines should maintain a good reputation to provide a more credible position on the matter.
“Mahirap tayo magbigay ng posisyon tapos ang ating bansa ay hindi katangi-tangi, hindi maganda ang reputasyon natin,” he said.
(It is hard to provide a position if our country does not have a good reputation.)
“So pangit ang imahe natin, ang daming korapsyon, hindi maganda ang nangyayari kaya wala tayong boses na magposisyon o magsuggest ng anumang bagay dahil pati ang ating bansa, nahihirapan eh,” Pacquiao added.
(The image of our country is bad, there is corruption, what happens here is not good that’s why we don’t have a voice to express our position to suggest anything, because even us here are having difficulties.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.