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Why is PBBM seen as among the most influential leaders in SE Asia?

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. with Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr. Michael Fullilove during a question and answer segment after his keynote speech at the Lowy Institute in Melbourne on Monday. (PCO)

In the ever-evolving landscape of global politics, certain leaders emerge as beacons of influence, shaping the course of events within their respective regions and beyond. 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has recently garnered international attention and acclaim for his decisive leadership and steadfast commitment to upholding the nation's sovereignty and interests. 

If there’s anyone who thinks individuals don’t matter in politics, I’d invite them to look at the changes in the Philippines in the past 18 months, in particular the way that Manila has become so much more determined to defend its sovereignty,” asserted Dr. Michael Fullilove, the Executive Director of Lowy Institute, an esteemed Australian think tank, during an event held at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne.

Fullilove astutely observed the profound changes that have taken place in the Philippines since President Marcos' was sworn into office in 2022, recognizing the Filipino leader that he has solidified his position as one of the most influential and closely-watched leaders in Southeast Asia.

In the period since his election in 2022, President Marcos has emerged as one of the most interesting, influential, closely watched leaders in Southeast Asia,” he said.

He commended the President's unwavering determination to defend the country's sovereignty, particularly in the context of the West Philippine Sea disputes. This resolute stance has resonated across the region, earning Marcos respect and admiration from his international counterparts.

During his address to the Australian Parliament, President Marcos left an indelible mark, underscoring his pivotal role as a regional leader within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

(Courtesy: RTVM)

His words echoed the sentiments of a nation resolute in its commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and maritime jurisdiction. 

"We shall never surrender even a square inch of our territory and our maritime jurisdiction," he declared, signaling the Philippines' unwavering resolve in the face of challenges.

Recognizing the significance of fortifying the nation's defense capabilities, President Marcos has taken decisive steps to modernize and strengthen maritime security of the country.

In this regard, we are upgrading the capabilities of our Coast Guard and pursuing the modernization of our Armed Forces. And earlier this year, I approved the updated acquisition plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines called Re-Horizon 3, in line with our Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept,” he added.

By bolstering the country's security prowess, the President aims to guarantee the unimpeded and peaceful exploration and utilization of natural resources within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, in accordance with international law.

Our forces must be able to guarantee, to the fullest extent possible, Filipino nationals, Philippine corporations, and those authorized by the Philippine Government, unimpeded and peaceful exploration and exploitation of all natural resources in areas where we have jurisdiction.”

Moreover, President Marcos' advocacy for upholding the rules-based international order has resonated beyond the Philippines' borders. 

He underscored the existential impact of great power rivalries on the survival and prosperity of nations in the Indo-Pacific region.

This principled stance has solidified the Philippines' position as a steadfast defender of the global order, a stance that aligns with the interests of nations like Australia, whose continued prosperity relies on a stable and rules-based international system.

Through his resolute leadership, President Marcos has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to safeguarding the Philippines' national interests while fostering regional stability and cooperation. His visionary approach has garnered the attention of global leaders and policy experts, elevating his stature as a formidable force in Southeast Asian affairs.

As the world watches with keen interest, President Marcos' rise as an influential and closely-watched leader in Southeast Asia serves as a testament to the Philippines' determination to assert its rightful place on the global stage. 

With his principled and decisive leadership, the nation stands poised to navigate the complexities of the regional geopolitical landscape, securing its sovereignty and prosperity for generations of Filipinos. (JCO/PIA-NCR)

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Jerome Carlo Paunan



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