May 5, 2023
WASHINGTON D.C., United States — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) said he does not feel alluded to in China’s criticism of the new bilateral defense guidelines between the United States and the Philippines.
For Marcos, China’s statement is “directed more towards the United States” than the Philippines.
“Representing as a Filipino and representing the Philippines, I don’t feel alluded to. How can anyone say that we are not party and interest in all of these issues?” Marcos told the Philippine media delegation here.
“I think that kind of statement was directed more towards the United States than it was for the Philippines,” he added.
The President said it is only “right and proper” for the Philippines to forge and strengthen alliances with other nations to “find new opportunities” for the Filipino people.
“Hindi naman masasabi na walang karapatan ang Pilipinas na gawin lahat ‘yun. Kaya’t ‘yang statement na ‘yan ay sa palagay ko ay hindi naka-direct sa Pilipinas,” he said.
(It cannot be said that Filipinos have no right to do those things. So I believe that statement is not directed to the Philippines.)
In response to the creation of the Philippines-US defense guidelines, China opposed the “meddling” of any country that cites bilateral treaties to interfere in the South China Sea. The China foreign ministry said the disputed territory should not be a “a hunting ground for forces outside of the region.”
The Philippines-US bilateral defense guidelines outlined how the US will come to the Philippines’ defense should it come under attack in the South China Sea.
Marcos was on a four-day official visit to Washington, where he met with US President Joe Biden to further solidify the relations of the Philippines and US.