Rep. Minority Leader Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan

TACLOBAN CITY – House of Representatives Minority Leader Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan urged both the Philippines and China to collaborate in defusing escalating tensions over a maritime dispute, emphasizing the importance of diplomatic efforts in resolving the issue.
Both countries should explore all diplomatic avenues to de-escalate the situation, the 4Ps party-list group representative said in a statement.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had previously affirmed that the Philippines “will not surrender its sovereign rights” amid China’s aggressive actions.

The recent incident involving China Coast Guard vessels water-cannoning and causing significant damage to a Philippine civilian boat during a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal on March 23 has sparked vehement protests between Manila and Beijing.

Expressing concern, Libanan stressed that international coverage of escalating tensions “may negatively impact the Philippines’ efforts to attract additional foreign direct investments crucial for generating new job opportunities for Filipinos.”

“We are apprehensive that prospective foreign investors might perceive the tensions as a potential security risk,” Libanan said in a statement.

He highlighted President Marcos’s diplomatic efforts, citing his visits to other countries to encourage their corporations to invest in the Philippines.

Libanan also mentioned Congress’s initiatives to relax restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution to entice more foreign investors and create employment opportunities for Filipinos.

In light of these developments, the solon underscored the need for the Marcos administration to reassure potential foreign investors of the Philippines’ stability and safety for profitable business activities, irrespective of the maritime dispute.

“We must emphasize that despite the tensions, the Philippines remains a stable, peaceful, and secure destination for foreign investors to engage in productive business ventures,” Libanan concluded.