Palace welcomes survey results on deepening bilateral relations with China and Russia

MANILA-- MalacaAang on Saturday lauded the results of the latest Pulse Asia survey showing that many Filipinos support the Philippines' thrust to deepen its bilateral relations with China and Russia.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Filipinos now have a deeper understanding of the current socio-political reality.

"Masaya po tayo that lumalawak ang paningin ng ating mga kapwa Pinoy," Abella said.

The Palace official said this however does not mean closing its doors to other countries that the Philippines have close ties with.

"So in other words, hindi lang tayo nagre-react, tayo na mismo 'yung nag-set ng mga bridges with other relations," Abella said.

"He (President Rodrigo Duterte) took the initiative to be able to open up friendly relations with the bigger powers in the world."

Abella meanwhile assured that the Philippines continues to assert its rights over its territorial waters.

The Pulse Asia survey also showed that a majority of Filipinos said they want the Philippine government to assert its rights over the West Philippine Sea.

"Of course, we agree totally 100 percent that we should stand by our rights regarding the West Philippine Sea na ibinigay sa atin. Even the President himself has said the same thing," Abella said.

He however said asserting the Philippines' rights over the West Philippine Sea is also a matter of timing and diplomatic relations.

"Hindi po ibig sabihin na we are giving up. We are not giving up anything. Definitely not. Atin po 'yan, 'yung rights diyan, 'yung EEZ," Abella said.

"Yes, it's ours and then it's just a question of being able to handle it. Tandaan po natin na the socio-political realities are such na kailangan tayo mismo marunong tyumempo," he added.

"Nakikita natin na si Presidente ay mahusay siyang diplomatiko at pulitiko at nakikita natin na while it is, ang kanyang primary concern talaga is ang kapakanan ng bayan, but all this has to be done with a wide and determined political will," Abella explained.

On the upcoming Miss Universe coronation show on Monday, Abella said the Philippines will be cheering and throwing its support to the country's very own Maxine Medina.

Abella said Medina "deserves all the moral boost she can get for working very hard and giving her best in a competition that promotes goodwill and friendship among nations".

"As the country's representative, Maxine is able to show the beauty, warm, hope and dignity of the Filipino. We are truly proud of her."

Abella further said that the country's experience of hosting the Miss Universe pageant has been joyful and memorable for everyone, especially for the Miss Universe candidates.

He expressed hope that the Miss Universe candidates would come back and visit the Philippines again with their respective families and friends.

"We invite them to come back and bring more of their friends to explore the various islands of the Philippines, ready to be astonished by the unexhausted beauty of each one and willing to be moved in every way by the fervent spirit of the Filipino people," Abella said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency