Philippines, Brunei should work together to maintain regional peace—Marcos

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei—President Marcos has once again stressed the importance of nations working together to maintain the peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

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President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah exchange remarks during the state banquet for the President's state visit in Brunei on May 28, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Malacañang)

This time, he expressed it before the Royal Family and people of Brunei.

"It is important that we continue to work together on a bilateral basis, also together with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), with BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) in all of these methods by which we can, we can plan together for our own communities, but also for the peace and the stability of the region, and not only for Asia, but for  the Indo-Pacific as well," Marcos said during the state banquet  at Istana Nurul Iman on Tuesday night, May 28.

"It is important that those partnerships now be brought back into the modern world. And I think that I look forward for this state visit to once more give an added impetus and warmth and inspiration to the relationship between our two countries," he added.

Marcos made mention of this as he noted the importance of his state visit here, saying it is timely as both the Philippines and Brunei are presently faced by many global challenges for which both countries have very many common interests.

Meanwhile, the President, who is conducting his first state visit in Brunei 40 years after he was in the same kind of visit as a presidential son in 1984, said he believes the trip gives a "very optimistic view of the future."

He said the signing of memoranda of understanding "are a significant step" as both countries made arrangements and alliances in different sectors which, he said, are "terribly important."

"And all of these, I believe will be again a birth of new time together for Brunei and the Philippines," he said.

"And as we forge our way ahead, I am very happy to know that Brunei Darussalam and the Royal family and the Sultan are with us and by our side and it gives us a very optimistic view of the future," he said.

Marcos and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah witnessed on the same day the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MOU) and one letter of intent (LOI) between the Philippines and Brunei, which aimed to further strengthen the two countries’ bilateral ties on maritime cooperation, tourism, among others.