Lacson: Philippines should join other nations in calling out Russia over Ukraine invasion

BATANGAS CITY, Batangas — Presidential candidate and Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said the Philippines should join other “peace-loving” countries in calling out Russia as he warned of adverse economic effects if the situation escalates.

“[We should] call out, kasama tayo among the community of nations, para makisama sa mga peace-loving countries para i-call out ‘yung Russia,” he said in an interview after their campaign rally here.

(We should join the community of nations and the peace-loving countries in calling out Russia.)

Although the Philippines is a “small voice” in the international community, Lacson said the government should join the call to establish our presence.

More than that, Lacson pointed out the importance of making a stand against invasion as it might be applied to the country’s situation in the West Philippine Sea.

“Join the community of nations in condemning kasi (because) after all it is an encroachment on international law… Ang delikado pa sa atin kasi kung ma-establish ang precedent na ‘yung Russia puwede pala mag-invade ng sinasabi nilang terrirtory nila baka…mangyari naman sa atin sa mga islands natin sa West Philippine Sea. Huwag naman sana. ‘Yon ang mga implikasyon na hindi natin mahulaan e,” he said.

(The critical part is when a precedent is established where Russia is allowed to invade the territory that they are claiming. The precedent could be applied in our situation in the islands in the West Philippine Sea. I hope not. That is an implication that we cannot predict.)

Lacson also warned against adverse economic effects of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Huwag natin sabihing malayo ‘yung Ukraine sa atin ha. May tama tayo d’yan pagka merong full invasion, nagka-giyera do’n, ang tama sa atin d’yan, unang-una stock market kasi ang stock market natin hindi standalone may mga foreign investors d’yan baka mag crumble yung stock market natin may tama tayo lahat d’yan,” he said.

(Let’s not claim that we are far from Ukraine. We will be affected by that if there will be a full invasion or war there. Firstly, our stock market will be affected because it is not stand alone. It has foreign investors. If the stock market will crumble, all of us will be affected.)

The Philippine economy will also suffer if NATO member-states, European Union, and Australia, among others, will impose economic sanctions against Russia, he added.

This is currently being felt in the country as Lacson noted that the price of oil per barrel has already reached around $100.

Furthermore, the presidential candidate pointed out the need for the government to prioritize the safety of the Filipinos in Ukraine. He said around 200 Filipinos should be moved to a safer place.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippine government is already prioritizing the safety and welfare of Filipinos in Ukraine.

According to Locsin, the DFA is already arranging the repatriation of Filipinos who want to go back to the Philippines due to the imminent security crisis in Ukraine.

According to a Reuters report, Russian President Vladimir Putin already ordered the deployment of troops to tow breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

The report said Putin has been working to restore Russia’s influence over nations that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with Ukraine holding an important place in his ambitions.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has announced the first sanctions against Russia for what he called “Moscow’s beginning of an invasion of Ukraine.”

Biden vowed for steeper punishments against Russia if it continues its aggression.

The European Union, Canada and Britain also announced sanctions against Russia. — RSJ, GMA News

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