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Contributing to Regional Stability

It is imperative for small powers, like the Philippines, to develop their capability if they were to play a constructive role in regional affairs. This was stressed by Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop during the Fullerton Forum held in Singapore on January 25, 2016. This is exactly the context of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' capability upgrade program also dubbed as modernization program. Asec Quilop then emphasized that the Philippine program is not directed against a particular country but simply to enable PH defense forces meet current and emerging security challenges.

Speaking on the forum's session on constructive role for small small powers, Quilop acknowledged that the role for small powers particularly in Southeast Asia is to provide platforms such as the ASEAN-led mechanisms for major powers to be engaged, particularly in the current regional environment where the strategic competition among the big powers is becoming more pronounced. The challenge though for small powers is how to ensure that the central role they play in regional mechanisms remain credible. Acknowledging that major powers play an equally important role, he advocated that these major powers should not undermine the central role that smaller powers play in such regional mechanisms. Instead, the bigger powers should contribute in building the capacity of smaller powers and in strengthening regional organizations.

International law has always been a great equalizer in regional affairs, specifically for small powers given that they are less capable compared to bigger powers which should equally abide by such international rules. Might definitely is not right, it was stressed.