President Aquino Back from Bali on a Positive Note
November 19, 2011—President Benigno Aquino II is back in the Philippines from the recently concluded ASEAN Summit in Bali Indonesia. The 3-day conference discussed the future of the bloc, most specifically their economies and security. The Philippines played an important role for the security dialogues, most specifically the Spratly’s issues, on which President Aquino co-chaired with President Obama at the US-ASEAN talks.
With the economic backlashes in Europe, the ASEAN has seen a situation that steers its member nations to act as a single unit. The idea of a ‘common market’ was also taken into consideration. The Philippines, on the other hand, was pleased to hear that Indonesia is plans to adopt its ‘Pantawid Pasada Program’, which is a subsidy program for public utility vehicle drivers.
President Aquino has rallied in the conference the adaptation of Code of Conduct for countries contesting for jurisdiction over Spratly’s. If ASEAN would eventually produce this declaration, it would guide the behavior of concerned states and would prevent conflicts that would threaten security within the region. Most ASEAN leaders, as well as President Barack Obama backed this proposition by Pres. Aquino. All have agreed to resolve the issue in a diplomatic way. The Philippine President have also forwarded the use of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea) to resolve and address the arising conflict in the South China Sea. He argued that a rules-based approach would clearly elucidate misconceptions and misunderstandings between nations.
The ‘deepening relationship’ of the Philippines and the United States has been reinstated by President Obama during his speech at the US-ASEAN talks. He commended President Aquino for his reform efforts that, in his view, have rescaled democracy and economy in the country. President Obama has even stated that the two-countries are ‘looking-out for each other’. In return for these favorable comments, President Aquino said that he is looking forward to strengthen their long-running relationship.