Locsin bares ‘refined’ PH foreign policy

Policy refinement Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. told diplomats led by Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia he would pursue a refinement of President Duterte’s policy. Locsin made the statement during the traditional Vin d’ Honneur at the DFA. DFA PHOTO

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. is refining the country’s independent foreign policy to a more valiant — “friends to friends, enemies to enemies and worse enemies to false friends.”

During the annual Vin d’Honneur held at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) headquarters yesterday, Locsin said the new independent foreign policy mantra is a refinement of the previous “friends to all, enemies to none.”

The original policy was adopted by President Duterte and was pursued actively during the term of former DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

Locsin stressed the refinement was meant to cope with the “changing realities.”

“It is a refinement of the earlier one which stood us in good stead: “Friends to all, enemies to none.” But we are moving on to a refinement which addresses changing realities. It is now “friends to friends, enemies to enemies, and worse enemies to false friends,” Locsin told foreign diplomats led by Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia.

Locsin maintained the refined policy remains within the President’s all-out efforts to advance Philippine interests in the global arena and protection of overseas Filipino workers in various parts of the world.

“I am not here to reinvent the wheel, just to grease it and steer it away from potholes and ravines,” said Locsin.

“I shall continue to implement the President’s directive to provide a ‘comfortable and secure life’ for all Filipinos, in every aspect of the country’s diplomacy and foreign policy,” he added.

PH-Japan exchange notes on ODA projects

Meanwhile, the Philippines and Japan yesterday signed an exchange of notes on two official development assistance projects to enhance defense and transport capabilities.

Locsin and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda signed the Exchange of Notes on the Grant Aid of the Government of Japan to the Philippines of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force UH-1H Parts and Maintenance Equipment to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and on the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 Rehabilitation.

In his remarks, Locsin noted how Japan has supported the Philippines’ development objectives.

“Throughout the years, Japan has vigorously and unfailingly supported the priorities of the Philippine government for the well-being of the Filipino people — and in particular through economic and development assistance as well as in enhancing our defense and security capabilities,” Locsin said.

“It is help that has no agenda but friendship, decency and a deep and abiding regard, as much for the safety and well-being of neighbors, as for oneself,” he added.

Locsin said Manila and Tokyo have elevated the bilateral relations into a strategic partnership as evidenced by the signing of the notes.

For his part, Ambassador Haneda reflected on the successes of Philippine-Japan partnership, and how it remains to be committed to its “joint work.”

“With the signing of these two projects, let me assure you that we do not only mark our commitments on paper, we also pledge our all-out efforts in bringing these projects into successful completion,” said Haneda.

The grant aid on UH-1H parts and maintenance equipment to the PAF, involves Japan’s grant of some ¥10.68 billion (P5 billion) worth of spare parts and maintenance equipment of UH-1H helicopters by the Japan Self-Defense Forces consisting of the following categories: airframe structure; dynamic power system, control system; rotor system; hydraulic system; electrical system; instrument system; accessory equipment and others.

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