Four senators have flown to Belgium to attend conferences of the European Parliament on Oct. 25-28, while eight others are currently in France upon invitation by the French Senate.
Those who went to Brussels, Belgium were Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Imee Marcos, She win Gatchalian, and Mark Villar.
On the other hand, those who flew to Paris were Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Christopher Go, Lito Lapid, and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito. Their Oct. 24-27 trip was ostensibly for information exchanges with their French counterparts on such topics are energy, food security, security and defense, and climate change.
Senators Ronald dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino are also in Thailand from Oct. 26 to 29 for the 30th Annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum led by the National Parliament of Thailand. The Philippine is a founding member of the NPT.
The Senate Secretariat said the meetings of Philippine senators with their counterparts in Europe and Asia would “bolster ties and cooperation among nations of the world.”
Meanwhile, in his speech before the Thai parliamentarians, Dela Rosa cited the importance of diplomacy “as we craft pieces of legislation to effectively secure and lead our countries and the region.”
“By recognizing that our duties as parliamentarians affect not only our home country but our region and the world in a broader range, we have a more significant role in ensuring regional peace and security,” he said.
Dela Rosa noted they cannot disregard the changing global situation concerning security challenges such as terrorism and transnational crime including drug trafficking.
He related that in the Philippines, they affirm that high-level parliamentary dialogue can create strong partnerships to deal with the regional challenges of today.
“Parliamentary exchanges, after all, are not just symbolic. They reaffirm our role in crafting defense and security policies. These parliamentary exchanges are essential elements in order to address the complexities posed by the security challenges in our region,” Dela Rosa said.
He said one of the security challenges in the region was “terrorism, that knows no boundaries.”
He emphasized that terrorism has become a global phenomenon that has sown fear and insecurity in everyone.
“As our contribution to combat global terrorism, the Philippines enacted into law the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. The war against terror in our country is our humble contribution to the tireless efforts of other nations to defeat this evil,” he said
Apart from this legislative effort, they continue to conduct dialogues with our partners, and we remain open to collaborate with more countries to finally put a stop to terrorist acts.
“Our countries are no strangers to violence caused by terrorists. At the same time, we are no strangers to the constant effort of securing sustainable and lasting peace,” he said.
But the senator said he is confident that with our shared goal of resolving terrorism and extremism in the region, we are all willing to cooperate, share best practices, and exchange ideas to attain a more peaceful and stable region.
Another security challenge in our region are crimes that, despite occurring on national soil, extend beyond national borders and affect entire regions and the international community.