Cayetano: Administration unwavering in duty to protect PH sea claims
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday assured that the Duterte administration would be “unwavering” in protecting its territorial claims as it continued bilateral talks with China on the West Philippine Sea dispute.
In a statement on Wednesday, Cayetano disclosed that Filipino and Chinese delegates met for the second meeting of the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea (BCM) on February 13, Tuesday.
Cayetano said that during the BCM, which served as a venue to settle differences “amicably,” the Philippine side brought up its “territorial claims and sovereignty rights issues, and discussed how to manage and prevent incidents on the ground.”
“The Duterte Administration is unwavering in its commitment to protect our country’s territorial claims and maritime entitlements,” Cayetano said.
“Let me also say that we are also of the position that ongoing territorial disputes should be resolved in a manner consistent with the spirit of good neighborly relations and the 1982 UNCLOS,” he stressed.
The Foreign Affairs chief made the assurance despite photos obtained by INQUIRER.net showing that China is almost finished in its militarization of reefs claimed by the Philippine government in the Spratly islands.
“The delegations, led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, also discussed ways to manage and prevent incidents at sea, promote dialogue and cooperation on maritime issues, and enhance mutual trust and confidence,” Cayetano said.
“Just because we are not in an open shouting match with China, or arguing in public, doesn’t mean that the issues aren’t being dealt with decisively. On the contrary, we are not only exerting efforts but also getting things done,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.