MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday told new Filipino ambassadors that the country's foreign policy remained neutral, just as he urged them to look for "non-traditional" partners in trade and security.
"We do not subscribe to any notion of a bipolar world. We only side, of course, to the Philippines, not to the US, not to Beijing, not to Moscow. That’s very much being independent in what we do,” the Philippine leader told freshly-appointed chiefs of mission and ambassadors in Malacañang.
Aside from this, the President urged the Filipino envoys to seek other partnerships as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust with developments globally.
He also stressed the importance of talks on agriculture, energy, and digitalization.
"Now, if there are opportunities that would come up, you should explore them and if they're promising enough, then we’ll take it up. We’ll try to see if something can come up. There’s no harm in trying and kung anuman ang mangyari, at least we tried,” he said.
“So let us keep looking at those areas. And also what I found many times, you go there and you talk about agri and something else comes up.”
Marcos had vowed his administration will assert the country's sovereignty in its territories as he seeks to pursue an independent foreign policy during his term through 2028.
Marcos, whose predecessor former President Rodrigo Duterte pursued warmer ties with China amid the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, said "the Philippines shall continue to be a friend to all and an enemy to none."
The President earlier this year allowed the US to access 4 more of its military bases, with two of them just a few hundred kilometers off Taiwan, the self-governed democratic island that China claims as its own.
It also formed a bilateral defense guidelines with the United States.