House cited for recognizing peace efforts of S. Korean leader

Published February 26, 2019, 8:00 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano R. Belmonte Jr. has cited the Lower Chamber’s adoption of a resolution seeking to recognize and fully support the efforts of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to bring peace, reconciliation, prosperity, and stability in the Korean Peninsula.

On a vote of 261 to 18, the Senate and the House of Representatives decide to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017 in a joint, special session at the Batasang Pambansa yesterday. Inset photo shows Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (left) and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez presiding over the session that lasted more than seven hours. (Jansen Romero, Alvin Kasiban)
House of the Representatives (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

He thanked his colleagues for approving the resolution and their unwavering support to a peaceful and stable Korean peninsula.

Before Congress adjourned its session on February 8, 2019, the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 188 which was principally authored by Belmonte.

“Peace and regional stability is of paramount importance to the Philippines and the entire region,” Belmonte, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said.

Under HR 188, the House of Representatives “notes with keen interest the developments in the Korean Peninsula.”

On January 30, 2019, the resolution, which had the backing of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), was approved by the Belmonte panel.

The resolution cited that the leaders of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of Korea engaged in a series of diplomatic efforts in order to achieve permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula.

President Moon attended three rounds of high level discussions held on April 27 and May 26, 2018 at Panmunjeom, located in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, and on September 18 to 20, 2018 at Pyongyang, North Korea to meet with Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Democratic Republic of Korea.

“As a result of the efforts of President Moon Jae-in, the South and North Koreas have agreed to adopt a set of concrete measures to completely denuclearize the Peninsula and the latter has committed to permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch a platform to permanently close its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon under the observation of experts from interested countries participating in the process, “HR 188 said.

Moon and Kim adopted the Panmunjeom Declaration committing both parties to reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by the Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations and make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war in the Korean Peninsula. In the declaration, the two Korean leaders also committed to actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime in the Korean Peninsula.

Moon and Kim also signed the Pyongyang Declaration agreeing to expand the cessation of military hostility in regions of confrontation such as the Demilitarized Zone (DZ) into substantial removal of the danger of war across the entire Korean Peninsula and a fundamental resolution of the hostile relations.

Under the declaration, they also agreed that the Korean Peninsula must be turned into a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.

“This historic endeavor of both Korean leaders to permanently end decades of hostilities in the Korean Peninsula marks an important step in achieving peace and stability not only between the two countries but in the entire region as well,” Belmonte said.