Commentary: RP hosts ASEAN and East Asia Summit
By Renee F. De Guzman
San Fernando City, La Union (10 January) -- Despite dire predictions, advisories and warnings of possible terrorists attacks from the governments of the United States, Australia, Japan and other western countries, the Philippines opens today the ASEAN and East Asia Summit in Cebu City.
Hosting a vibrant ASEAN and East Asia is a great pride for the country.
For these reasons, the Philippines should put its best foot forward and spread the red carpet for this historic moment.
The event marks the Filipinos' contribution to a safer and more prosperous world.
This is a moment of pride for Filipinos who have shown our excellence worldwide and who are noted for their graciousness and hospitality.
Since its formation decades ago, Asean, from its original five members to today's ASEAN-10, has grown strength, prestige, membership, unity, brotherhood, and influence.
Today, ASEAN is a solid regional bloc that is being constantly courted by western powers even if the majority of its members do not practice democracy according to the United States' definition.
For the 12th ASEAN and East Asia Summit key issues such as: counterterrorism, North Korea, Maritime Security, an EU-Style Community Charter and acceleration of goal of Asean community by 2015 are expected to be discussed and agreements on the same to be signed.
The agreements that are expected to be signed will be a collective harbinger of greater stability, cooperation and people to people efforts reaching out to achieve greater freedom from fear and freedom from want in the fastest growing region of the world.
All ASEAN heads of state have confirmed their attendance to the Summit and observer countries like Australia, China, Japan, India, South Korea and New Zealand will also attend.
The military and police have placed stringent security measures to avert any possible terror attacks in the duration of the Summit although the authorities perceived no threats to the event.
Summit organizers believe that bad weather and terrorists threats will not dampen the successful holding of the Summit. (PIA La Union) [top]