Marcos counts on ASEAN-US collaboration for maritime, transnational security

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is counting on the collaboration between Southeast Asian nations and the United States in terms of ensuring maritime security and transnational crimes.

Marcos on Friday also called for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-US cooperation to fight against "illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing."

The President said the Philippines is committed to achieve regional and peace security as he previously expressed concern about the volatile Indo-Pacific region.

"We regard as of primary import Quad's assurance of unwavering support for ASEAN unity and Centrality with the view that such minilateral mechanisms should complement the ASEAN-centered regional security architecture," he said. Paralleled by joint military exercises, the Quad or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

Marcos expressed the same appreciation for Japan and Australia, which are also part of the Quad.

At the 10th ASEAN-US Summit here, Southeast Asian leaders and US President Joe Biden released a statement seeking to elevate the relations of the two sides to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).

For Marcos, that only proves "a strengthening of our relationship." The partnership, he added, "will serve as an additional anchor to our regional architecture and to the current international order that is presently volatile and constantly in flux."

Meanwhile, the President also called for collaboration to fight transnational crime, terrorism and trafficking in persons—the same appeal he made to Australia, which he cited for its support to the country's anti-trafficking work plan.

Marcos also pushed for continued engagement and capacity-building programs for law enforcement agencies and personnel through the International Law Enforcement Academy and the Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime + US (SOMTC + US).