Press Release
July 24, 2018


Generally satisfied with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's third State of the Nation Address, Senator Richard J. Gordon described it as more cogent, more presidential and clearer on where the chief executive intends to steer the country for the year.

"It was more cogent, more programmed. It was not combative. He gave some specific details on what he wants to do. Malinaw kung saan niya dadalhin ang bansa for the next year. I think, lahat ng kailangang sabihin nasabi niya - sa mining nasabi niya, sa labor, sa foreign policy," he said. Gordon also applauded the President for making a firmer statement on the West Philippine Sea issue but at the same time wanting the people to understand that there are bilateral and multi-lateral ways of reaching a solution to the issue.

"I'm glad that he has ratcheted up, by a few bars, yung position natin sa West Philippine Sea - that he intends to maintain it, that he intends to do it because it's the right thing to do. . There has been a marked change in the statement, sinabi niya he will pursue an independent foreign policy and that he will assert our claim. He is not giving up anything. Ang sinabi niya kailangan maintindihan ng tao na merong bilateral and multi-lateral ways, in other words, yung diplomatic way towards finding a solution to the problem. We can confront, we don't have to go to war, but we can conciliate," he said.

However, the senator pointed out that Pres. Duterte should have mentioned that he will strengthen the military's capability to give more teeth and credence to our position when we negotiate.

"Hindi ko narinig na ii-strengthen ang military. I wanted to hear that. Yun ang parating hinihingi ko na dapat kung magkakaroon tayo ng diplomatic hand na strong, kailangan meron tayong strengthened military. Kasi hindi tayo uubra kung wala nun. How can we engage in a diplomatic effort ng maayos kung walang credibility?" he stressed.

Gordon has been calling for the strengthening of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, adding that other nations will come to our assistance if they see that we are also helping ourselves, that we also have the capability to defend ourselves,

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