MANILA – Incoming National Security Adviser (NSA) Clarita Carlos on Friday said the incoming Marcos administration will adopt a “neutral” stance on the Russia-Ukraine war.
During a “Laging Handa” program, Carlos said it is better for the country to stay neutral to keep its “very robust” ties with Russia.
“Siguro (Perhaps), we will take a mutual stance. ‘Yun naman talaga ang ginawa natin (That’s what we did) from the beginning, and we have a very robust relationship with Russia,” she said.
Valuing Moscow as the Philippines’ “friend,” President Rodrigo Duterte has opted to avoid meddling in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Carlos backed Duterte’s decision, saying Russia could help the Philippines, especially amid the surge in oil prices.
“Russia might be able to supply us with our much-needed oil and gas. Kasi nandiyan lang ang Russia. Ang Russia nasa north natin iyan (Russia is just there) and they’re also pivoting to our area. We should take advantage of that,” she said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier expressed hope for a more fruitful cooperation with the Philippines under the leadership of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In a statement, Putin stressed that the relations between Manila and Moscow were “traditionally friendly”.
Carlos said she would advise Marcos not to support the sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries to hold Putin accountable for the war he launched against Ukraine.
The US, along with its over 30 partners around the world, imposed sanctions and export controls to restrict Russia’s access to critical technology and turn it into a global financial pariah, the White House announced on its official website.
Carlos likewise guaranteed the continuation of anti-insurgency measures implemented by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
“There have been many successes on the ground, and those success will have to be replicated,” she said.
She said, however, that she will review the NTF-ELCAC’s policies and programs.
She is seeking a meeting with her predecessor, Hermogenes Esperon Jr., “as soon as possible” to ensure the smooth transition of power.
Esperon, who also chairs the NTF-ELCAC, earlier hoped that the next administration would continue supporting the anti-insurgency task force’s initiatives to address insurgency and help rebels who opt to return to the fold of the law. (PNA)