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Marcos to skip Peace Summit in Switzerland

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos will skip the global peace summit in Switzerland this weekend and send presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. as the country’s representative, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Galvez, head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, has been designated as representative of the Philippines to the Ukraine peace summit, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement.

The Swiss-organized summit will be held on June 15-16.

The PCO has yet to respond to queries on why the President is not attending the event.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected visit last week to the Philippines to personally invite Marcos to attend the summit.

Zelensky has accused Russia and China of trying to dissuade other states from attending the event.

Before departing Manila on June 3, Zelensky told GMA-7 that the Philippines’ “voice” against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was important, citing similarities in security challenges facing the two nations.

“Your (Philippines) voice is very important. This region is very important,” Zelensky said, citing Manila’s support of six United Nations resolutions condemning the Russian invasion and calling for an end to the war.

No country wants to again experience being colonized, he said, so countries with a “strong and clear position that nobody can occupy your territory” must unite.

Zelensky also warned about the possibility of the war spreading to other regions if democratic nations fail to unite and allow Russia to win.

Ukraine needs Filipino mental health workers, especially for battle-weary soldiers, he said.

Marcos committed to sending mental health workers to Ukraine through the UN peacekeeping process.

The two leaders failed to meet at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue – Asia’s largest defense summit – in Singapore.

Zelensky made a surprise appearance at the defense summit supposedly to drum up support from Asian countries.

The National Amnesty Commission (NAC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday signed an agreement for the success of the Marcos administration’s amnesty program for rebels and secessionist groups.