Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday expressed support for the Philippines’ participation in the upcoming emergency Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit targeted to address the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
As a founding member of the 10-member regional bloc, Hontiveros said it is the country’s responsibility to stand up and have an active involvement in ensuring peace in the region.
She added that it is vital for the ASEAN to take a united position in supporting Myanmar in order to stop its military junta from unleashing violence against its people.
“I would like to express my support for the Secretary of Foreign Affairs’ participation in the upcoming emergency ASEAN summit that is meant to address the political and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar,” the senator said in a statement.
“The ASEAN as a whole must stand in solidarity with the peoples of Myanmar. As the emergency meeting commences, there must be a robust action that could lead to a more free, more just, and more humane Myanmar. The doctrine of Responsibility to Protect commands all of us,” she said.
International online news magazine The Diplomat reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who holds the rotating chairmanship of the economic union for 2021, issued a joint statement earlier urging political leaders to convene at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia and discuss the raging political turmoil.
The statement came after the repeated calls from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore for an action, according to Nikkei Asia.
The takeover of Myanmar military junta since the ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February has triggered a mass uprising from the opposing public that resulted in the death of at least 570 people and imprisonment of 3,000 individuals.
The Philippines, through Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., previously called for Suu Kyi’s release as well as the “complete return” of Myanmar to its previous state of affairs during the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on regional and international issues on 2 March.