MANILA The Philippines is moving on to the "refinement" of foreign policy that addresses "changing realities," from the earlier friends to all, enemies to none to "friends to friends, enemies to enemies, and worse enemies to false friends," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Wednesday.
At the vin d'honneur hosted for the diplomatic corps, Locsin said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has led national efforts to advance the country's interests in the global arena for the past two years under the guidance of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"I am not here to reinvent the wheel; just to grease it and steer it away from potholes and ravines," he told members of the diplomatic corps.
"I shall continue to implement the President's directive to provide a 'comfortable and secure life' for all Filipinos, in every aspect of the country's diplomacy and foreign policy," he said.
He underscored the administration's brand of "independent foreign policy," reiterating what he told the DFA personnel last week.
It is not independent foreign policy if you simply switch the master before whom you are kneeling; you are still on your knees," he said.
"Independent foreign policy means getting off your knees, and on your feet and standing up for our country. That is true independence," Locsin added.
Under former DFA chief Alan Peter Cayetano, the agency positioned the Philippines as a country seeking to be "friends to all and enemy to none."
Locsin, who took his oath of office in MalacaAang in October 2018, replaced Cayetano, who will run as congressman of Taguig City in the 2019 mid-term elections.
As mandated by the Constitution, presidents are required to pursue an independent course that would be protective of the country's territorial integrity, sovereignty and its right to self-determination as anchored on the Philippines paramount national interest. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency