Press Release
November 30, 2010

PH's Mission: Help Find Lasting Peace in Korean Peninsula - Legarda

Expressing grave concern over the rising tension in the Korean peninsula, Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today said that the Philippines' main obligation is to support the United Nation's (UN) mission of peace and reconciliation in Korea.

Legarda explained that as one of the 12 countries currently accredited as UN Command (UNC) member nations, the Philippines remains committed to helping achieve a political and lasting settlement of the challenges facing North and South Korea.

"This responsibility emanates not just from our membership in the United Nations, but from a law that provides for the continued assignment of Philippine personnel to the UN Command Liaison Staff in South Korea," she said.

"The UNC's mission is to help ensure the fulfillment by all parties of the provisions of the Armistice Agreement. Our objective is to help diffuse the tension given our role in the UNC," she added.

Republic Act 573, the Philippine Military Aid to the United Nations Act signed in September 1950, authorized the sending of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea, and the subsequent detail of Philippine personnel to the UNC Liaison Group.

The Philippines is one of 16 UN member states whose troops saw combat in the Korean War. Other UN member states - Denmark, India, Norway, and Sweden - provided medical and humanitarian aid during the war.

"The presence of more than 50,000 Filipinos in South Korea underscores the need to find a permanent solution to the problems facing the Korean Peninsula" Legarda stressed.

"We do not have winners in wars, only losers. And those who suffer the most are the civilians."

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