Escudero urges FFCCCII to ease tension in West Philippine Sea

Escudero urges Fil-Chi communities to help ease tension in West Philippine Sea

/ 08:00 AM June 16, 2024

Written by: Faith Argosino

Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero has emphasized the importance of the Filipino Chinese communities in helping ease the tension between the country and China in the West Philippine Sea in his speech during the annual Philippine Independence Day dinner reception of the Filipino Chinese business community held on June 7, 2024, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

FFCCCII Manila Galleon launch

The inaugural issue of “Manila Galleon” business magazine had its grand launching on June 7, 2024, at the annual Independence Day dinner reception of the Filipino Chinese business community at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) before 1,320 top business leaders of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), with guests from other business chambers like PCCI, ECOP, Mgt. Association of the Phil., Filipino Indian Chamber, etc. The guest of honor and speaker was Senate President Chiz Escudero, who delivered a Filipino-language speech encouraging the Filipino Chinese business community to act as a pro-active and positive “bridge over troubled waters”. (Photos by Nilo Odiaman)

Attended by 1,320 top entrepreneurs and civic leaders, this celebration was organized by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) led by its president Dr. Cecilio K. Pedro along with other major organizations. Various business leaders of FFCCCII, PCCI, ECOP, Filipino Indian Chamber, and other groups welcomed the reassuring and statesman-like speech of Escudero calling for de-escalation and harmony.

FFCCCII Manila Galleon launch

The Independence Day dinner reception also marked the government’s annual Filipino Chinese Friendship Day every June 9, which commemorates that day in 1975 in Beijing when the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. and Chinese Premier Zhou Enali signed the agreement which established official diplomatic relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China.

In his speech, Escudero underscored the importance of the Filipino Chinese communities’ role in “de-escalating tensions” in the region and “eventually resolving the conflict.”

“Para sa akin, ang papel na pwedeng gampanan ng FFCCCII at iba’t ibang Filipino Chinese communities ay malaki at malawak,” Escudero said. (For me, the role of FFCCCII and other Filipino Chinese communities is significant.)

“Hiling at dalangin ko na magsilbi kayong tulay ‘ika nga sa rumaragasa at tila nagagalit na karagatan na tinatawag nating West Philippine Sea, sa pagitan ng bansa natin at bansang Tsina upang sa gayon anumang hindi pagkakaunawaan ay maresolba, anumang hindi pagkakaintindihan ay maisantabi,” he added. (I hope and pray that you will serve as bridges over the raging waters of the West Philippines Sea, which is in the middle of our country and China, so our conflict will be resolved.)

The senator likewise urged these communities “to act as bridges,” citing Simon and Garfunkel’s famous song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as a reference.

Escudero also expressed confidence that the ongoing conflict in WPS will “be resolved peacefully” since both countries have a “long history of cooperation and cultural exchange.”

“Malalim na ang ugat at kasaysayan sa pagitan ng dalawa nating mga bansa. [Higit isang] libong taon na ang lumipas na meron tayong ugnayan at relasyon, cultural man o sa ekonomiya, sa pagitan ng dalawa nating mga bansa at wala naman tayong pinag-awayan,” he said. (The history between our two countries is deep. For over 1,000 years, our ties have extended to our culture and economy, and we have not disagreed on anything.)

Aside from the Philippines and China, the senator pointed out that about 150 territorial disputes worldwide, which he claimed did not necessarily lead to war.

In response to the speech of Escudero, the majority of the 1,320 top Filipino Chinese entrepreneurs of the FFCCCII and other organizations at the dinner reception at PICC expressed support for this challenge of helping promote more dialogue and continued economic cooperation between the Philippines and China for the sake of Philippine economic development and Asian stability.

The Filipino Chinese entrepreneurs and numerous socio-civic organizations welcomed this timely challenge to them in promoting more bilateral dialogue and cooperation, because they said all the other nine countries of the ASEAN region are now competing against each other to tap the vast and increasingly affluent consumer and tourism market of 1.4 billion Chinese people. The FFCCCII and other organizations shall jointly work together with government agencies and other civil society groups to promote more bilateral Philippines-China economic, cultural, technological, educational, and other exchanges and collaborations.

“Manila Galleon” hopes to encourage global competitiveness among Filipino entrepreneurs and seeks to revive the Philippines’ once historic pivotal role as a key entrepot and mediator of transnational trade between Asia, China and Latin America, Europe, and the West. (Photos by Nilo Odiaman)

During the June 7 dinner reception, the new “Manila Galleon” business magazine held its grand launching at the PICC and with the inaugural issue presented to the guest of honor Escudero. Manila Galleon hopes to promote global competitiveness among Filipino entrepreneurs and companies, in order to expand exports to and economic exchanges with China and the Asia-Pacific region. With additional reports from Clarissa Mediavillo and Lanie Gornez Purigay

This article is brought to you by FFCCCII.


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