I asked, “From a former president’s point of view, how do we move on with the goals of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia) and BIMP (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines) , given the growing political , territorial conflicts in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea?”
Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, called me in front, we took a selfie in front of media men, and asked me to repeat my question.
“We are all Asians,” he said. “One family. Ordinary Chinese people, the Filipino people, the Indonesians, Malaysians and the rest of Southeast Asians do not want World War III to happen.” He proposed to world leaders to stop their arms buildup but instead set up a common task force for enforcement of the law, safe and open navigation, search and rescue, and preparation for natural disasters. He said that the world’s problems now are poverty, terrorism, epidemic diseases, and climate change. “If we live together, as long as we don’t want war, this world will be a beautiful place to live in, even in the next generations.”
He looked at me and asked, “Nagbabasa ka ba ng Biblia? Nandoon lahat yun, (from) Genesis, the first book (to) Revelations, the last book. Pag-aralan mo sinabi ko.” (Do you read the Bible? It’s all there, from Genesis to Revelations. Study what I said).
This was during the 2nd BIMP- & IMT-GT Business Leaders’ Conference, October 23, 2014 at Davao City organized by the Mindanao Development Authority. For details check http://www.eagaimtfair2014.com