Marcos may raise West PH Sea, geopolitical issues during US visit: analyst

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2022 03:49 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left), and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) pose for photographs at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, Aug. 6, 2022. Blinken is on an official visit to meet with President Marcos Jr., and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo in efforts to boost diplomatic ties between the two countries. Rolex Dela Pena, EPA-EFE

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. may discuss the country's economic woes, the West Philippine Sea, and other geopolitical "realities" when he visits the United States this month, a political analyst said Tuesday.

Marcos will speak before world leaders during the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 20, where he will "present the country's vision for the UN and our role in fostering international cooperation to address pressing global challenges," the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said. 

Bilateral meetings with other world leaders are still being arranged and "subject to confirmation," DFA Spokesperson Tess Daza said. 

"[Maaaring mapag-usapan] kung paano maiibsan ang problema natin sa ekonomiya, inflation, itong nararanasan ng US na recession, ganoon din ang nararanasan nating peso [depreciation]," political analyst Froilan Calilung said. 

"Basically kasama na rin dito ang geopolitical realities natin on how we can possibly anchor ourself and our current situation sa usapin natin sa West Philippine Sea," he said in a televised briefing. 

(They may discuss how we will ease our economic problems, inflation, the US recession, as well as the peso depreciation. Basically, these include our geopolitical realities on how we can possibly anchor ourself and our current situation on our issue with the West Philippine Sea.)

Video from PTV

China refuses to recognize the 2016 Hague ruling that upheld the Philippines' rights over the waterway. 

Because of this and other global political issues, Calilung said it was important for Marcos administration to keep good ties with the US. 

"Ang nakikita natin sa (we saw in the) previous administration, we had this relationship: we pivoted to China and Russia and left off the United States," he said. 

"Right now, it is also important that we also maintain good relationship with the US being our traditional ally, historical partner from the very beginning... This will also be beneficial for us," he added. 

Philippines' Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez said global leaders were "eager" for what Marcos would say during his debut on the international stage.

Marcos is expected to tackle issues on pandemic recovery during his speech at the UN, the envoy said. 

"We have several heads of state who asked if they could have a meeting with the President Marcos. It is something that will be important for the country and I know [he] is preparing for this," Romualdez told ANC in August. 

"He has already put together a sketch or an outline for his speech." 

When asked if the President would mention the country's arbitral win on the West Philippine Sea, Romualdez said, "I think that's probably going to be mentioned generally." 

"More importantly, the clear message that we want to give to the world that we are part of the community that would like to contribute to world peace and economic prosperity to everyone," he said. 

Marcos' appearance at the UN will come after his state visits to Indonesia and Singapore this week. 

The DFA last month said a possible meeting between Marcos and US President Joe Biden at the sidelines of the UNGA was still being finalized.