Marcos: Keep politics and the economy separate

Marcos on handling geopolitical issues: Keep politics and economy separate

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 10:09 PM March 19, 2024

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos

(Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. believed that the Philippines must try to keep politics and economy separate when it comes to navigating geopolitical problems.

During the World Economic Forum roundtable in Malacañan Palace, Marcos was asked about the increasingly tense political situation in the world, particularly the Group of Two competition between China and the United States.


READ: Blinken, Marcos and Manalo to review US-PH economy, security ties


Enormous challenge

“That certainly presents an enormous challenge and the alignment within the great powers for a small country like the Philippines is something that we have to be able to manage, at least for ourselves, we have little influence on what great powers will do,” said Marcos.

“The only way I see that we can do that is to separate politics and the economy. And we’ll see what’s good for the economy so long as it does not impact poorly on the political life here in the Philippines, then I think it is an acceptable activity to enter into,” he added.

The Philippines finds itself in the midst of one of these geopolitical problems, with tensions in the West Philippine Sea worsening since Marcos assumed the presidency.

Economic power

However, the President acknowledged that economic power is also used in politics.

“Economic power is also used as political power in these instances, so it is not that simple but we must continue to make that delineation and hopefully we make that right choices so that our political stability, our political sovereignty, our sovereign rights are defended robustly,” said Marcos.


Harder stance

Marcos has taken a harder stance over China’s encroachment in the disputed waters than his predecessor former president Rodrigo Duterte. Since 2022, incidents in the West Philippine Sea have escalated from Chinese vessels blasting the Philippine Coast Guard with water cannons to direct collisions between vessels.

READ: SCS collision not reason to invoke defense pact with US–Marcos

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The US has continuously reminded the world that attacks in Philippine territory could lead to the invocation of the two countries’ mutual defense treaty.

“We have a guiding principle, and that is to separate the two things as much as possible. It’s not a binary solution. But it is something that we need to do if we are going to continue to grow the economy and yet maintain our political stability in the Philippines,” said Marcos.

TAGS: Bongbong Marcos Jr., China aggression, defense pact, United States, World Economic Forum

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