Aung San Suu Kyi sentencing condemned; PH, ASEAN to 'ease suffering' in Myanmar

Published January 16, 2022, 4:26 PM

by Betheena Unite

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 16, condemned the sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison, saying the Philippines will work with its ASEAN colleagues in finding measures to ease the situation of the people in Myanmar.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (File photo/Malacañang)

Locsin said he is adopting the statement of Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt who condemned the sentencing of the ousted civilian leader and expressed concern over “the suffering of the civilian population” in Myanmar.

The Foreign Affairs chief also bared plans to work with its Southeast Asian colleagues in a bid to ease the situation in Myanmar.

“I will work with ASEAN colleagues in the next few weeks to find measures to ease the suffering of the people of Myanmar, and push for dialogue among all stakeholders, most especially Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and substantial progress in the Five-Point Consensus of ASEAN,” he said.

He added that the Philippines “will also work with Norway, as President of the Security Council for this month, in finding ways to end the killings in Myanmar that have dragged on for a year, far too long for that country’s suffering people.”

The Philippines top diplomat said that while the participation of the Special Envoy in the ceasefire talks with the Ethnic Armed Organizations is a welcome development, he stressed that these talks “must include all, not just a select few.”

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi must be there, despite her conviction,” he said.

Locsin further argued that “Suu Kyi is indispensable in a democratic restoration that will pose no threat of anarchy, dissolution, and civil conflict,” adding that the Special Envoy’s access to all parties concerned must not be subject to any conditionality.

He also said that the the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, which includes efforts in ending the violence in Myanmar, must not be tied to any roadmap, for the Consensus is the only one agreed to by the ASEAN Leaders during that meeting in Jakarta in April 2021.

“The armed forces of Myanmar have nothing to fear, and much to gain, from the democracy it introduced to Myanmar by stepping back nor by its restoration by doing so again,” Locsin said.