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Analyzing the Impact: Foreign Interference and the Consequences of Executive Order 57 on the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos voiced concerns on Monday regarding the potential for foreign interference following President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s recent enactment of a law strengthening the nation’s maritime security. She suggested that the measure could invite various forms of covert foreign intervention, likening it to a “Trojan horse.

The senator, who also leads the Senate panel on foreign relations, referred to Executive Order No. 57, aimed at bolstering the Philippines’ maritime security and awareness through the establishment of the National Maritime Council.

“Rather than employing reason, emotions are guiding our maritime dispute with China, leading us toward a perilous course that will exact more than just Filipino pride,” Marcos remarked in a statement. “Our nation’s defense posture lacks self-sufficiency, and the rush to retaliate promptly risks inviting foreign interference. Section 7 of the recently enacted Executive Order 57 opens the door to various forms of foreign interference, such as donations, contributions, grants, bequests, or gifts from both domestic and foreign entities, which the National Maritime Center has been empowered to accept,” she elaborated.

The senator emphasized the detrimental impact of accepting defense and maritime security donations, describing it as a catalyst for perpetual conflict. She pointed to specific instances in Ukraine and Gaza as examples.

“To prevent the escalation of regional conflicts, we must seek genuine solutions for peace from our purported allies,” she asserted. “Mere declarations of support lack credibility, especially when there’s a vocal invocation of a rules-based international order while simultaneously refusing to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Marcos concurred that there should be no shame in actively pursuing peace. However, she also cautioned against any actions that could jeopardize the safety of Filipinos, labeling such actions as gross irresponsibility that must be avoided at all costs.

“Let’s not act hastily or impulsively. Let’s not engage in reckless behavior that endangers the welfare of our citizens,” she urged.

President Marcos has issued a directive to enhance Philippine maritime security in response to China’s water cannon attack on Filipino-manned vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

In a separate announcement, the president stated, “Filipinos stand firm and resolute.”



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