WITH the important activitiy – the Asean summit – expected to be held next month, we are expected to show the hospitable traits we are known for worldwide.
Traffic jams aside, we focus our sights on the worldwide notice and recognition we’ve gained over the hosting of the 50th anniversary staging if this regional convergence of leaders, ministers, foreign and defense, and business and trade delegations here at Clark and in different parts of the National Capital Region and even Bulacan.
The extremists might take advantage of this occasion to sow terror
and cause embarrassment to our government, therefore, we, civilians included, should exert extra efforts to stem the tide of terrorism in whatever capacity we can. We cannot afford to be complacent and relaxed in our security set up.
As reported, the Asean defense ministers, at the conclusion of the 11th Asean Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) issued a declaration which adopted the three-year work program of ADMM which by the way outlined the direction of ADMM cooperation for 2017-2018 and anchored on their previous work programs for 2014-2017.
A resolution also ensued from their meeting which called for freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea and thus expressed their conformity with the decision of the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. It should be remembered that UNCLOS favored the Philippine position in its territorial dispute with China at the South China Sea or what we call West Philippine Sea. China, however, has refused to take cognizance of the decision of the Arbitral Court or any other issuances regarding the disputed territory.
In sum, we should prepare for the inconvenience caused by horrendous traffic jams as the ministers are ferried to the Clark Freeport Zone from Manila and vice versa. This personal sacrifice is needed from us as we host this very important event, the benefits of which may be seen or realized in succeeding years. We just hope that no untoward incidents befall the ministers and delegates.
Heroes all. Now that the Marawi conflict has ended, together with the lives of courageous men and women, heroes all, of the Philippine Armed Forces, we should now seek ways to rehabilitate the tremendously ruined place once described as beautiful and peaceful Islamic city. The rehabilitation efforts should start post haste for the people of Marawi City.
While President Duterte refuses to accept donations from the European Union, the same should not be turned away for humanitarian reasons. The fault of one is not necessarily the blame for other good-intentioned souls.