Aquino calls on nations to unite, not impose
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday reiterated the need for countries to unite but at the same time avoid imposing one’s views on each other.
“Together, we have the best chance of eliminating our common problems. Divided, we may have no chance at all,” Aquino said during his toast at the vin d’honneur in celebration of the 116th Philippine Independence Day.
“As such, a fine balance must be struck to avoid interfering in others’ affairs. This can be achieved by rendering genuine and meaningful assistance, rather than by imposing our own views and policies on others—this can be achieved through sincere cooperation,” he told a roomful of government officials and foreign diplomats at Malacañang.
The statement came amid ongoing territorial disputes between the Philippines and China. Although the President did not mention China in his speech, he emphasized the importance of cooperation to improve economic ties and maintain stability.
China’s current stance in claiming disputed areas in South China Sea has led to heightened tensions in the region and compelled countries like the Philippines and Vietnam to protest.
During his speech, Aquino thanked the international community for supporting the Philippines during challenging times.
“Time and again, the international community has reached out to the Philippines. This was clear in the assistance given by so many countries throughout our peace process. This was clear in the global outpouring of sympathy and assistance for the Filipino people in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (super typhoon “Yolanda”)—assistance that continues to this very day,” he said.
Accepting his speech in behalf of the Diplomatic Corps was Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, who also highlighted the opportunities brought about by international cooperation after the onslaught of “Yolanda.”
He said the international community hopes a “future of prosperity” for everyone involved and have supported the peace process in Mindanao, the recent highlight being the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
“The possibilities of cooperation with neighboring countries in this most dynamic economic area in the world are being multiplied and the Philippines is present not just to gain a greater economic growth but also to give its contribution to a shared progress inspired by social justice,” Pinto said.
Originally posted: 3:53 pm | Thursday, June 12th, 2014
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