DAVAO CITY, Apr. 29, 2017 — President Rodrigo
The ASEAN 50 is a celebration of regional cooperation and brotherhood. It reaffirms the bonds that have been forged among geopolitical allies based on a mutual respect for national dignity, and the pursuit of individual national development towards its own sovereign destiny.
The collective might of the ASEAN is founded on its understanding of its shared responsibilities to protect and preserve its own.
The sea is both the allegorical and literal manifestation of this bond. In its depths, the wealth and weight of the region rests. It is a pathway to trade and commerce as well as resource for natural materials.
Today, President Duterte and President Jokowi launched a naval enterprise that further tightens the relationship between the Philippines and Indonesia. In it, economic partnership and naval patrolling of the region are united. And, further clarity of the act of preservation of this resource is made evident.
As ee cummings wrote:
“For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
its always ourselves we find in the sea”
The role of the ASEAN 50 is made even more important in moving forward as a region. And, in the time of Duterte, the region is poised to take its place among the global titans.