By Lance Arevada

PHOTO: IBTimes India

Presidential candidate and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that there is no need for him to make a stand on the worsening conflict between Ukraine and Russia as the Philippines is not directly involved.

“I don’t think there is a need to make a stand. We are not involved, except for our nationals,” he said in an ambush interview.

Instead, Marcos Jr. said that he is “worried more” about the concern of the Filipino nationals affected by the ongoing crisis, especially those who wanted to return to the country.

“I’m worried more about our nationals. Marami na raw napunta sa Poland but there are some who do not want to be repatriated so that’s the problem for the Philippines now,” he added.

On the other hand, vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte also shared a similar view with her running mate’s pronouncement.

Duterte said that she will commit to a neutral stand in international conflicts until she is “pushed against a wall” to decide on her position.

“The only time we should take sides if our interest is at risk pero pag hindi naman at risk ang interest natin, we should always be neutral,” she said in a separate press conference.

The Philippines has officially condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in an emergency meeting held by the United Nations General Assembly, supporting the resolution that denounces Russia for its actions against their neighboring country.

“We appeal for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructures. We strongly urge the cessation of hostilities; but while an offense can be stopped at will the defense cannot rest until the offense stops,” the country said through a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

While during the CNN Philippines 2022 Presidential Debate, only candidates Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, and businessman Faisal Mangondato agreed with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s neutral statement on the conflict.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, labor leader Leody de Guzman, cardiologist Jose Montemayor, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo all disagreed with the neutral stand, with Lacson urging the country to condemn the invasion as a signatory to the United Nations Charter.

Edited by Quian Vencel A. Galut