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Marcos tells Filipino soldiers not to adopt war mentality vs China amid WPS row

Courtesy: Presidential Communications Office
Vince Lopez

The Philippines will not resort to war in resolving issues in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. told Filipino soldiers stationed at the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday.

According to the President, the country will settle WPS issues in a peaceful manner.

“We are not in the business to instigate wars – our great ambition is to provide a peaceful and prosperous life for every Filipino. This is the drum beat. This is the principle that we live by and that we march by,” President Marcos said.

“We refuse to play by the rules that force us to choose sides in a great power competition. No government that truly exists in the service of the people will invite danger or harm to lives and

livelihood,” he added.

The President made the remarks during his talk to the AFP Western Command in Palawan following the recent aggressive actions of China in Ayungin Shoal, where one member of the Naval Special Operations Unit was injured in the latest Chinese hostility.

In his speech, President Marcos called on the Western Command to continue to fulfill their duty of defending the Philippines with integrity and respect.

“And that is why, in defending the nation, we stay true to our Filipino nature that we would like to settle all these issues peacefully. And in the performance of our duties, we will not resort to the use of force or intimidation, or deliberately inflict injury or harm to anyone,” he said.

But the President said the Philippines’ calm and peaceful disposition should not be mistaken for acquiescence as he reiterated that Filipinos will not yield to any foreign power.

“We owe to our forefathers the duty to keep the freedoms that they fought, bled, and died for; and that we currently enjoy. We will never subjugate and oppress anyone,” he said.

“The Philippines is a responsible state. We will continue to exercise our freedoms and rights in support of our national interest, in accordance with international law,” the Commander-in-chief added.

Before concluding his speech, President Marcos applauded the brave men and women not only of the Western Command, but of the entire AFP for their exceptional services to the Philippines and the Filipino people.

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