Leader’s Statement by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Joint Press Briefing

Event Presentation of Signed MOU and Leaders’ Statement
Location President’s Hall, Malacañan Palace

For our friends here in the media; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

And of course, to our esteemed guest, the Indonesian delegation, headed by his Excellency President Widodo.

I am pleased to inform you of the results of a successful visit of the President of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo here to Manila.

Today, we had a cordial and productive discussion on Philippine-Indonesia bilateral cooperation, taking the opportunity to reaffirm our two countries’ strong bilateral relations most especially as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our countries’ diplomatic relations this year.

As immediate neighbors and fellow archipelagic states, the Philippines and Indonesia agreed to continue our cooperation on political and security matters, noting the recently concluded Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) headed by our respected foreign ministers.

Advancements have been made on several action points in the JCBC’s Plan of Action which was signed on 5 September 2022 during my State Visit to Indonesia.

Our shared historic roots are deep, and thank you to our close kinship and our cultural ties, that we continue to promote, and we continue to allow to prosper, the Philippines and Indonesia enjoy this affinity for one another.

As such, our exchanges and discussions about ways to deepen our political and economic ties have come naturally.

Our Ministries have worked hard and today we saw one of these works bear fruit as we witnessed the signing of the MOU on the Cooperation in the Field of Energy. Through this MOU, our countries create a new synergy as we cooperate to achieve energy security.

In addition to this MOU, another MOU on Science and Technology is nearing the completion phase as well.

So, today, we also recognized Indonesia’s contribution to peace and development in the Southern Philippines. As Mindanao continues to reap the dividends of peace and democracy, we hope that Indonesia will continue to extend its helping hand to building the institutions of local governance, particularly in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

We also took this opportunity to reiterate to our respective agencies that they must expedite the relevant MOUs that will help unlock the economic potential of BARMM to encourage development, particularly on the livelihood of our many constituents residing in the said region.

President Widodo and I had a fruitful and honest discussion on regional events of mutual interest such as the developments in the South China Sea and ASEAN cooperation and initiatives.

And speaking of ASEAN, as founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), the Philippines and Indonesia affirmed our insistence on the universality of UNCLOS, which sets out the legal framework that governs all activities in the oceans and in the seas.

Let me take this opportunity to once again extend my congratulations to Indonesia for the successful chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023, and we look forward to Lao PDR’s Chairmanship this year.

I would like to once again thank President Widodo for finding time to visit with us in the Philippines, the first Head of State I have the pleasure of receiving in the New Year.

Welcome once again to the Philippines, your second home. [applause]