Date: April 25, 2017

Posted by: gnGesiteJr


AMBASSADOR ANSELMO SIMEON P PINILI together with his staff, Mr. Gene N Gesite Jr. attended a forum on The South China Sea: The Philippines, ASEAN, and their International Partners hosted bythe Stratbase ADR Institute (ADRI) held at the Tower Club, 33rd Floor, PhilAm Life Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City last April 24, 2017. The discussion agenda revolved on the South China Sea issue; geostrategic and military concerns; marine science and international law, and our strategic partnership with ASEAN, China, and other countries in the region.


The forum started with the opening remarks of former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario. He emphasized the urgency for the Philippine government to push for the finalization of the Code of Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea and the inclusion of the ruling by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in the disputed South China Sea. Further, he also mentioned the great opportunity to address the issue with the support of our neighboring states and the international community by taking advantage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year.

Panelists of the forum were as follows: 1. Dr. Jay Batongbacal, Director, University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea; 2. Richard Heydarian, Foreign Analyst; 3. Dr. Renato de Castro, Trustee and Program Convenor of the Stratbase ADR Institute and Professor of International Studies at the De La Salle University; and 4. Jose Antonio Custodio, Defense Analyst.


Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit, President of Stratbase ADR Institute, gave the closing remarks where he re-emphasized the points made by Del Rosario and the panelists, he said, “The way forward must insist against coercion, unlawful action, militarization, unilateralism, and against a form of diplomacy that undermines the shared interests of our Southeast Asian nations. By enshrining these principles in the Code, we can work towards an encompassing agreement that meets all of our interests in the region.”


Other participants were:  diplomats (from embassies: Japan ,Australia , UK, New Zealand,USA , Singapore , EU and Vietnam); members of the quad-media, viz.: ABS-CBN News Asian Institute of Management, Business World, , CNN Philippines, GMA News, Inquirer.Net, Institute of International Education, Philippine Star,  Straits Times, Rappler, Reuters, and TV5 News. Representatives from DFA, OP: Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice, and Peace and National Security Council.