Marcos says he’s willing to talk with Zylenskyy, renews call for peace

ZURICH, Switzerland — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. clarified that he did not snub the call of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zylenskyy for a phone conversation, saying he has always been willing to talk with the European leader.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr.

Marcos made this clarification after Ukrainian Charges D’Affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia Denys Mykhailiuk said they have been trying to have the two leaders talk to each other since Marcos assumed office in June 2022 but to no avail.

In an interview with reporters en route to Davos, Switzerland, where he will be attending the World Economic Forum (WEF), the President said they were surprised by Mykhailiuk’s remarks, saying both sides have been trying to set a schedule so he and Zylenskyy could talk.

“There was talk of it a couple of months ago pero wala lang napag-usapan. That’s why nagulat kami when the special envoy came out and said na hindi ko sinasagot (but we haven’t set a schedule yet. That’s why we were surprised when the special envoy came out and said we were not responding),” Marcos said.

“Sinagot namin (We responded), but we couldn’t get it scheduled,” he added.

According to Marcos, he is willing to talk to Zylenskyy.

“I have no problem talking with President Zylenskyy, especially now na mainit na yung giyera doon sa kanila (that the war in his country is still ongoing),” he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has called out the Ukrainian envoy for expressing his remarks before the media, saying the move was undiplomatic.

President Marcos, however, was not clear when asked if the Philippines would indicate support for the 10-Point Peace Plan proposed by Ukraine. The plan aims to ensure that Russia respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the withdrawal of Russia’s troops.

However, he said the Philippines will always be on the side of peace and will express support for initiatives leading toward it if needed.

“That’s not for us to decide. Those details are for— should there be talks — between Ukraine and Russia,” he said.

“We support any effort towards peace — anything. Basta matigil ang patayan, matigil ang giyera (As long as the killing and the war will stop),” he added.