THE Philippines on Tuesday voiced “dismay” at reports of excessive force by the Myanmar military against unarmed protesters on Armed Forces Day, which killed over 100 people, but will not intervene in the ongoing unrest.
Manila issued the statement through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) amid reports that 107 people, including children, were killed by security forces across Myanmar on Saturday during a crackdown.
“The Philippines is profoundly dismayed at reports of excessive and needless force against unarmed protesters in Myanmar on Armed Forces Day, which resulted in the worst violence since the military takeover,” the DFA said.
The Philippine government reiterated its call “for security forces in Myanmar to exercise restraint and desist from resorting to disproportionate force against unarmed citizens.”
“We remain steadfast in supporting Myanmar on its path to a fuller democracy beginning with the immediate release of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and duly-elected civilian leaders,” the DFA added.
When a netizen on Twitter asked Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. whether Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) should intervene, he said, “No intervention.”
He continued, “Just wise counsel and distancing if ignored because Asean principle of noninterference in others’ domestic affairs cannot be used to conceal crimes against humanity; that would be tantamount to Asean complicity and consent. Indonesia in the lead here”.
Myanmar is part of 10-member Asean which also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.