Indonesian leader calls for peaceful means to end disputes in South China Sea
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said that his country rejects the use of non-peaceful means to settle disputes in the South China Sea.
“The position of Indonesia is clear ---that any of the tension must be resolved peacefully without the use of military force,” President Yudhoyono said following his expanded bilateral meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday.
During the meeting, President Yudhoyono recalled that countries which participated in the East Asia Summit in Bali last year agreed “to avoid unilateralism” and focus on the “peaceful settlement of disputes".
This step is in consonance with the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, agreed by the ASEAN and China in 2002.
President Yudhoyono also cited the need for the ASEAN to have a stronger voice on regional issues to safeguard the region’s security and stability.
"The ASEAN must have a voice. The ASEAN must have the moral courage to deter the use of force and military power," he was quoted as saying by Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr.
The Philippines, China, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries have been laying claim to some territories in the South China Sea.
The Philippines has elevated its case to the international arbitral tribunal, a move rejected by China.
The placing of an oil rig by China in territories being claimed by Vietnam resulted in violent actions in Vietnam, with Vietnamese nationals attacking Chinese citizens and Chinese-owned manufacturing facilities.
President Aquino has been pursuing a conclusion to a binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to reduce tensions and achieve regional peace and stability. PND (as)
Indonesian President Yudhoyono, 'a big brother,' says President Aquino
President Benigno S. Aquino III said he considered Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono an elder in high esteem and a true and well-respected leader in the ASEAN.
"Mr. President, as you may well remember, the last time we saw each other in Myanmar, I referred to you as our uncle, which in my dialect is “Bapa”—because you have acted like a real uncle to all of us in sharing with us your wisdom," the President said in his message during a toast at the state dinner he hosted for the visiting Indonesian leader.
He said he learned that in Bahasa Indonesia, “Bapa” denotes respect in reference to a “father” or an “elder.”
But regardless of its definition whether in his dialect, or Bahasa Indonesia, “Bapa” is a word attributed to an elder held in high esteem, which perfectly describes President Yudhoyono, the President said.
And as the country pays tribute to the Indonesian president, President Aquino conferred him the country's highest order of diplomatic merit—the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Raja.
At the same time, President Aquino thanked President Yudhoyono for Indonesia's support to the peace process and security.
"Indonesia has always spoken in support of the Philippines and our endeavors in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation," he said.
"We also deeply appreciate Indonesia’s overwhelming humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan," he added.
He also congratulated the Indonesian leader for his two successful terms as President, noting that under his reliable leadership, Indonesia carried out impressive reforms that have led to its economic growth.
This growth empowered Indonesia to become an influential voice in both regional and international affairs, he said.
The recent agreement to resolve the two countries sea boundaries serves as an important reminder of what can be achieved when parties come to the table with a sincere commitment to engage in meaningful dialogue, and uphold the rule of law, he noted.
President Yudhoyono arrived in the Philippines for a state visit and attend the opening of the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia hosted by the Philippines. PND (as)
Government condemns killing of radio broadcaster in Davao del Sur
Malacanang has condemned the slaying of a radio broadcaster in Davao del Sur on Friday morning.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been directed to exert maximum efforts to apprehend the killers of Sammy Oliverio.
“We condemn the killing of radio broadcaster Sammy Oliverio in Digos City, Davao del Sur this morning, May 23,” Secretary Coloma said in a statement.
“We note that Mr. Oliverio was a block timer, airing programs in behalf of the local government unit over Radyo Ukay and other radio stations in Digos City,” he said.
Oliverio was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Digos on Friday morning when he and his wife were headed home from the market.
“The PNP has been directed to exert maximum efforts to track his assailants and bring them before the bar of justice,” Coloma said. PND (co)