Xave Gregorio – Philstar.com
November 19, 2022 | 7:08pm
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
Release / Office of the Press Secretary
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday called the war between Russia and Ukraine “unacceptable” and reiterated his call for both countries to settle their disputes diplomatically.
“The war, rather, is unacceptable and we ask all parties involved … that peace be brought back to Ukraine and that the confrontation be brought to the diplomatic space,” Marcos said in his strongest remarks yet on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Marcos underscored the “far-reaching” effects of the war that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and stressed that it has had a profound impact on “many economies and the food supply of everywhere in the world.”
“We have to stop the fighting. We have to move on to diplomacy so that we, at least, the other aspects of Ukrainian and Russian economy can be productive again,” Marcos said.
“Most” APEC leaders condemned the war during the summit, according to a joint declaration issued after a day and half of talks in Bangkok criticizing the conflict and the global economic turmoil it has unleashed.
“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” it said.
The Philippines has consistently opposed and condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as it joined votes on resolutions on the conflict at the UN.
In the early days of the invasion, Marcos said he did not think “there is a need to make a stand” on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He added: “We are not involved… except for our nationals.”
On the same day, the Philippines joined a resolution at the UN General Assembly condemning the invasion.
Marcos shortly changed his tune in a statement released through his team as he appealed for sobriety and a peaceful resolution to the armed conflict.
“I support the unconditional observance of human rights and fervently hope that there will be no more targeting of civilian communities and civilian establishments,” Marcos said in a statement on March 4.