News Release

West Philippine Sea is life blood of every Filipino — PBBM

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. reiterated before the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue he will not give up a single inch of the nation’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea (WPS), saying it is the lifeblood of every Filipino.

“The life-giving waters of the West Philippine Sea flow in the blood of every Filipino,” President Marcos told the defense ministers, permanent heads of ministries, and military chiefs present during the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

In his keynote address, President Marcos assured dialogue participants that the Filipino people, “we cannot allow anyone to detach it from the totality of the maritime domain that renders our nation whole,” he said, receiving a warm round of applause.

“As President, I have sworn to this solemn commitment from the very first day that I took office. I do not intend to yield. Filipinos do not yield,” he said.

President Marcos made history as the first Philippine president who delivered a keynote address before the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, which is the leading defense and security conference in the Asia-Pacific region.

The dialogue provides an open, inclusive and neutral platform for the exchange of perspective and ideas on defense and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. It is commonly attended by defense ministers, permanent heads of ministries, and military chiefs of mostly Asia-Pacific states.

Previous keynote speakers include Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in 2022 and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in 2023. | PND