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SolGen seeks to maintain cooperation, dialogue, and peace in ASEAN waters

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The importance of maintaining cooperation, dialogue, and peace was emphasized by Solicitor General Mernardo Guevarra in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Coast Guard Forum last Wednesday. 

“ASEAN’s approach to consensus-building and mutual respect for each other’s processes has effectively prevented conflicts from arising in our region,” Mr. Guevarra said. 

It is expected that the dialogue in the forum will further yield cooperative arrangements and other protocols that would maintain the peace and stability in the region.  

Mr. Guevarra also thanked the ASEAN member-states for their cooperation in maintaining the peace and order of the waters within the region. 

“It is in your everyday patrolling the seas, consistent conduct of law enforcement activities, and aiding distress to mariners at sea that the purposes of the Convention are realized,” he said. 

Mr. Guevarra expressed that the Philippines will always uphold its maritime rights amid the formidable challenges but will always prefer peaceful resolution than conflict. 

“Peace and adherence to international law are values that are writ large in the Philippine Constitution,” he said. 

He also highlighted President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s statement at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue: 21st Asia Security Summit in Singapore last Friday.   

Mr. Marcos emphasized the three constants that ASEAN should consider amidst the challenges in international landscapes: 

Sovereign equality of states must remain sacrosanct 
ASEAN and ASEAN-led processes must remain central 
The rule of law and integrity of multilateralism must prevail

Philippine Coast Guard Admiral Ronnie Gil L. Gavan, forum chairman, said that the forum is valuable for the Philippines as we face geopolitical challenges. 

The ASEAN Coast Guard Forum will be held until June 8. The participant countries will further discuss maritime security, which includes the safety and security in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). – Edg Adrian A. Eva

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