Marcos warns of ‘more worrisome’ external threats

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has emphasized the need for the Philippines to be prepared for “any eventuality” amid what he described as “more pronounced” and “more worrisome” external threats in the region heightened by geopolitical issues, including the flaring tensions between China and Taiwan.

Marcos, in his visit to the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division at Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, said the Philippines’ “proximity to Taiwan puts it in China’s area of interest,” highlighting the importance of the northern part of the country to be “well-prepared for any eventuality.”

“And that is why — the external threat now has become more pronounced, has become more worrisome. And that is why we have to prepare,” Marcos said as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) in a news release.

“So, that is the mission that you have before you. Now, you have two missions, whereas before it was only internal security,” he added.

The President, however, clarified that the Philippines would not take territories and would only defend its own while engaging in various efforts to maintain peace in the region through continued diplomacy.

“We are not trying to take territory. We are not trying to redraw the lines of sovereign territory, the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), the baseline,” the President said.

“Hindi natin binabago anything na kahit isang — not even one inch. Ngunit hindi tayo puwedeng pumayag na kukunin naman ‘yan sa atin,” he added.