MANILA - In offering a toast for independence day, President Aquino underscored the importance of unity among nations to address common challenges.
The President acknowledged the help that many international partners have given the Philippines in the peace process and in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda.
In turn, Aquino also spoke of the country's responsibility to the world, citing the role of Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights despite meager resources.
"One may ask: why do we do this? In turn, I would ask them: is there any problem unique to one country?" Aquino said.
Aquino said that the Philippines has a responsibility as well to its people and speak out on the effects of climate change.
There was no specific mention of the country's territorial disputes with China. But Aquino spoke of the need for members of the international community to foster sincere cooperation in addressing challenges and achieving goals rather than imposing their own respective views.
"...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 said.
"Excellencies, it is my hope that we can continue to maximize cooperation and avenues for dialogue, in realizing our aspirations for our peoples. Together, we have the best chance of eliminating our common problems. Divided, we may have no chance at all."
As he honored the sacrifices made by the country's founding fathers, Aquino vowed to continue working on programs to alleviate poverty, create jobs, deliver social services to the people, and promote disaster resilience.