Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday said the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) is placed “on the spot” following the escalating violence in Myanmar where more than 100 people — including several children — were killed after security forces opened fire on protesters.
Locsin’s reaction came as dozens of defense leaders worldwide condemned the deadly incident on Saturday that coincided with Myanmar’s annual observance of Armed Forces Day.
“ASEAN on the spot,” Locsin said in a tweet in reaction to the reports of the mass killings.
In a separate post, the country’s top diplomat said the latest incident in Myanmar is a “test of ASEAN credibility”.
“ASEAN was not constituted to be a pallbearer and regional hearse but a grouping for the good of its peoples as we repeatedly avow,” he said.
Observers say that the latest incident in Myanmar was the ‘worst bloodshed’ since the military staged a coup on Feb. 1.
Three weeks ago, the Philippines issued a statement calling for the immediate release of detained Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and a complete return to the country’s existing state of affairs.
Locsin, in a statement, also called for ASEAN unity, adding that the regional bloc “must stand by” its fellow member, “ready to give what help it is asked by the people and government of Myanmar.”