PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. denied on Sunday, January 15, 2023, ignoring the communications sent to him by Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss bilateral cooperation amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine due to Russian invasion.

Marcos said they responded to the phone call of the Ukranian government but they have not gotten any schedule for the supposed discussion.

“There was talk of it a few months ago, pero hindi lang napag-usapan (but it just wasn’t discussed). Nagulat kami (We were surprised) when the special envoy came out and said na hindi sinasagot (that it was not being answered). Sinagot naming (We answered), but we didn’t get it scheduled,” Marcos said in an interview with reporters.

“I have no problem with talking to President Zelensky, especially now that mainit na ang giyera doon sa kanila (the war is still ongoing). So of course, we are… again on the side of peace, and that remains the same. Any expressions of support that he might feel is needed, we are happy to provide it,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier called out Denys Mykhailiuk, Chargé d’affaires of the Ukraine Embassy in Malaysia, over his statement regarding the phone call, saying it was not a good diplomatic practice for the envoy to reveal such details to the press.

Mykhailiuk apologized over the matter.

When asked if the Philippine government will support the so-called 10-point peace formula to end the conflict in Ukraine, the President said “that’s not for us to decide.”

“Should there be talks… between Ukraine and Russia, sila mag-uusap tungkol diyan (they should talk about it). We support any effort towards peace, anything basta’t matigil ang patayan, matigil ang giyera (as long as the killing stops, the war stops),” Marcos said.

“Tapos kung papaano nila gagawin (Then on how they should do it), what will they do with the territories that have changed stance, et cetera, that is really clearly between the two countries,” he added.

Zelensky earlier laid out a 10-point peace plan for peace, which included the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and cessation of hostilities, confirmation of the end of the war, and the release of prisoners and deportees, among others. (SunStar Philippines)