Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday reiterated his preference for diplomacy over military force as he attributed Israel’s economic progress in recent years to its friendly demeanor with other countries.
In a short manifestation in support of Senate Resolution No. 552 commemorating the State of Israel’s 75th founding anniversary, Cayetano said Israel’s “excellence in diplomacy” opened opportunities for prosperity and collaboration.
“If you look at the map and the last five years of the friends and bridges that had been built, the diplomacy has grown that now Israel has so many friends or at least has opened dialogues with groups and people and even States which they did not even have relations with before,” he said.
Cayetano said that Israel’s economy was recently ranked 19th worldwide according to data from the International Monetary Fund, even surpassing the United Kingdom, Japan, and France.
He also noted how “incredible” it is that Israel is “founded in the desert but they are experts in agriculture,” mentioning two agricultural model areas in the City of Taguig built in partnership with Israel through its former ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz.
Cayetano said unlike the usually lengthy process of project implementation in the Philippines, the two agricultural models became operational in only a month.
“We talked, [then] the Mayor of Taguig and the Ambassador talked, [then] they introduced them to an NGO. One week later, the people were carrying the equipment. Two weeks later, it was operational,” he said.
Cayetano said he is hoping the bond between the Philippines and Israel would remain strong.
“I think everyone is unanimous in that we want the Filipino kind of friendship, hospitality, and bond with Israel to continue,” he said.
He expressed gratitude for the close ties between the two countries, which he said was maintained “regardless of the differences in religion” and the distance.
“Ever since [the Philippines voted in favor of the independence of the State of Israel in 1948], there has been no time wherein when we reached out and Israel has not responded,” he recalled.