DFA chief: Philippines 'friend to all and enemy to none'

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2022 07:44 PM

MANILA -- Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Tuesday said the country is prepared to take the “appropriate the diplomatic actions” when government interagency processes conclusively verify that Philippine sovereignty has been infringed upon.

Manalo made the statement during a meet and greet event with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) press corps as he reiterated President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s pronouncement on Philippine foreign policy about continuing to be a "friend to all and enemy to none" while not abandoning a square inch of the country’s territory.

“In that regard, the DFA is fully prepared to advance the existing relationships as well as cultivating and bridging new ties. And we are also fully prepared to undertake the appropriate diplomatic actions when our interagency processes conclusively verify that our sovereignty had been infringed upon. President Marcos has also made it clear that government messaging must be coordinated and based on factual data. The DFA will ensure that just as during the previous administration, we will not speak or comment based on emotion nor in reaction to fake news,” Manalo said in his remarks.

Manalo also recognized the role of media in communicating foreign policy to the public even as the DFA engages in digital diplomacy by expanding its social media presence to new platforms such as LinkedIn and TikTok on top of Twitter and Facebook.

Manalo recently opened his own Twitter account.

“It is your questions and your quest for clarity that truly sparks public discussions in our foreign relations and even as we negotiate with foreign partners behind closed doors, your discourse helps us drive home that we are conducting our discussions with utmost candor and good faith,” Manalo told reporters.

Present in the meet and greet event was the newly designated all-career lineup of undersecretaries: Acting Undersecretary Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro, Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs; Acting Undersecretary Antonio A. Morales, Administration; Acting Undersecretary Carlos D. Sorreta, Multilateral Affairs and International Economic Relations; Acting Undersecretary Jesus “Gary” S. Domingo, Civilian Security and Consular Affairs; and Acting Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega, Migrant Workers Affairs.

Also present were DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza and Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez of the DFA Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy (OPCD).

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