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Indonesia visit

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President Marcos Jr. recently welcomed Indonesian President Joko Widodo to the Philippines,  with both leaders discussing further the state of our diplomatic relations, reviewing its progress, enhancing the four deals regarding the defense agreement  signed in 1997, focusing on joint exercises and development of defense technology, and logistical cooperation.

President Widodo (popularly known as JokoWi) is the first foreign leader welcomed by Marcos this year.

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, adjudicating the Philippines’ case against China over the South China Sea, ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the Philippines.

From that time, the  Philippines had been trying to secure its sovereignty over the West Philippine sea based on international law.

With increased tensions in the South China Sea amid the insistence of  China to take possession of its  territorial claims, the Indonesian President’s visit here could address the threats posed by Bejing in the maritime region.

Both the Philippines and Indonesia are part of the same Maritime Jade Road, both archipelagic countries with ethnic populations and national languages that have common Austronesian ancestry. The historical links between ancient Indonesia and the Philippines have commenced since around the 9th century.

Various Philippine legends also refer to Indonesia as a place of our ancestral origin.

In the 16th century, the two realms were divided under European colonial powers: the Philippine  archipelago was held under the Spanish Empire, while south Indonesia was under Portuguese possession, later wrestled by the Dutch Empire.

Since Indonesia’s proclamation of independence on Aug. 17, 1945, and the Philippine independence on July 4, 1946, the old cordial relationship between Indonesians and the Filipinos were re-established.

On Nov. 24, 1949, both countries established diplomatic relations, and became co-founders of the Association of South East Asian Nations on Aug. 9, 1967, together with Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The Indonesian GDP per capita is much higher than the Philippines.

At end 2022, the World Bank estimated that the Indonesian GDP per capita based on its PPP adjustment factor was around US$14,675, compared to the Philippines US$10,136. This is more than a 40 percent difference.

President Marcos has pursued a pragmatic independent foreign policy, and strengthened ties with allies and partners across geopolitical spheres. This sets the stage for mutually- beneficial engagements.

Our shared historic roots are deep, and thanks to our close kinship and cultural ties, the Philippines and Indonesia enjoy an affinity to one another,” Marcos said.

The two leaders advanced ongoing collaboration in political, economic, and cultural spheres. They witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation to achieve mutual energy security, affirmed commitments to international law, and the peaceful resolution of South China Sea issues.

Indonesia has also contributed to development efforts in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Marcos expressed hope that Indonesia will continue its interest there to unlock more economic potential, and uplift livelihoods.

As the Philippines unlocks its enormous potential, its renewed standing is poised to see more global leaders beat a path to Manila to tap opportunities for cooperation and growth.

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Author’s email: whelmayap@yahoo.com

 

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