TAGAYTAY CITY – President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday announced that his main objective for the upcoming ASEAN Summit is to personally push for an assurance that the Code of Conduct in the west Philippine Sea (South China Sea) will be implemented. “Iyong una muna, siyempre gusto nating magkaroon sana ng mas matibay na consensus, mas mapadali iyong tinatawag na Code of Conduct to implement the Declaration of Conduct on South China Sea,” Aquino said on the sidelines of the 38th Top Level Management Conference of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. Aquino was here to serve as guest of honor and keynote speaker. The president reminded the public that along with the Philippines, three other nations in the ASEAN claim territories in the sea—all the more reason to push for a multilateral approach to resolving the disputes.
“Iyon ‘yung isa sa pangunahin nating pakay nga. Sa ASEAN, ipaalala ko lang 10 ang miyembrong bansa ng ASEAN, apat ang claimant countries doon sa Spratlys na kabilang sa West Philippine Sea, South China Sea. Kailangan ng mga tiyak na mga patakaran diyan
para magkaron ng istabilidad. Dahil nangako tayo ng ASEAN centrality, kailangang iisa ang boses ng ASEAN. Iyan ang dapat
gawin natin na magkaroon ng isang boses po dito,” Aquino said. However, Aquino also said that individual nations will still push for their individual interests, despite a unified ASEAN voice. “Meron nga tayong unity within ASEAN. Pero every country will have to weigh their interest and be guided by their country interest, as we are being
guided by our country’s interest,” Aquino said. — BM, GMA News