Press Release
May 12, 2023

'Peace is our only option': Hontiveros meets with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen

TAIPEI, TAIWAN -- Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at her residence in Taipei City as part of the opposition senator's efforts to lead legislative proposals that seek to promote peace in the region.

The senator's visit is also meant to inform the legislative roadmap she will recommend in the Senate, the foreign policy body of the Philippine legislature, to strengthen security, economic, and labor relations in the region amid China's aggression in the West Philippine Sea and the entire South China Sea.

"While I am here in Taiwan to particularly check on the overseas Filipino workers who were threatened by the Chinese Ambassador's dangerous statements, I cannot help but raise an urgent issue that looms large over the Philippines - the external threat posed by China in our territories, a similar dilemma Taiwan also faces," Hontiveros said.

In their tete-a-tete, the senator shared that China's intimidation, threats, and harassment are a daily occurrence that Filipino fisherfolk and Philippine Coast Guard personnel experience, adding that the tensions in our own seas have deprived our fisherfolk of their livelihood, especially since Chinese vessels have constantly shooed them away, at times even confiscating their bountiful catch.

"Like President Tsai, I would like a peaceful approach to the South China Sea question. I will work on taking tangible steps in the Philippine legislature to ensure that we successfully discuss and conduct diplomatic, legal, and respectful negotiations with all States concerned to advance peace and stability in the entire South China Sea," Hontiveros said in her opening statement.

The senator also emphasized that the Philippines will not meddle with the issue of Taiwanese independence, underscoring that the Taiwanese people should have the basic human right to self-determination.

"While we in the Philippines will never interfere with the issue of your independence, I will always support nations who err on the side of democracy. We know that democracy is a powerful vaccine against armed conflict, as it requires fostering peaceful relations among citizens. When carried into the realm of foreign policy, this will result in peaceful international relations not only among our nations, but also across the world," the senator told the President.

"Peace is necessary for the safety and security of all our citizens. Peace is essential for our economies to survive and thrive. Peace is our only option. With the continued and strengthened ties between the Philippines and Taiwan, I trust that true and lasting peace will reign," Hontiveros concluded.

News Latest News Feed