Philippines to pursue diplomatic solution in Scarborough row


Scarborough Shoal

MANILA, Philippines – Despite the promise to secure the country’s sovereignty, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Aquino government would continue to pursue a “diplomatic solution” to the dispute between the Philippines and China over ownership of the Scarborough Shoal.

“The President [Benigno Aquino III] wants a diplomatic solution in place,” Del Rosario said during a press briefing at the Department of Foreign Affairs Wednesday.

Del Rosario said he met with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing earlier in the day following a standoff between a Philippine warship and two Chinese vessels, which prevented Philippine authorities from apprehending Chinese fishermen found poaching for endangered species and other marine resources in the Scarborough Shoal.

Del Rosario said the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest and was expecting a note verbale from China, citing that they received this information from “sources”.

Despite the conflict, Del Rosario noted the country’s “long-standing friendship with China.

“We have a long standing friendship with China. They are solid partners and as evidenced by the State visit of President Aquino to China, there have been re-commitment on how to make the cooperation broader and deeper, how to make the friendship closer,” Del Rosario said.

“We vow to continue working closely until a diplomatic decision has been arrived at. Both of us are aware that in the spirit and cooperation, we should work on keeping the tensions down,” Del Rosario said.

“We are trying to collect as many options as possible. We are looking for what is fair, what is doable, what is reasonable and what is workable.”

As of posting time, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and Chinese Maritime Surveillance Zhonggou Haijian 75 and Zhonggou Haijian 84 remained on standoff,  three days after the Chinese vessels stopped the arrest of the Chinese fishermen on the Scarborough Shoal also known as Panatag.

Del Rosario said the Philippines would insist that the shoal was within its territory, saying the country’s claim is supported by UNCLOS [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea].

Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, flag officer-in-command, said the area was well within Philippine territory because it was 124 miles from Zambales, well within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Edmund Tan of the Philippine Coast Guard said they would immediately send a search and rescue vessel to monitor the situation in the area “and of course to show our flag and show our presence.”

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  • pinoyjunk

    This is why we need our new Hamilton-class cutters to carry an anti-ship/submarine helicopter like NFH90 just in case. These will also be very useful for search and rescue, troop transport, air to ground support, and heavy equipment transport. 
    ASEAN members should also revive the SEATO treaty

  • Flavio

    china = bully 

    • Ricky Zhuang


  • Ben

    Its about time that the Philippines bid to our ship builders to make a number of our own naval ships in the Cebu or Subic shipyard  based on our world war 2 vessels structures with, hull plating thicker than any other modern military vessels for armor defense , but slower due to its weight, we can design its engine to be highly mobile and powerful, capable like the Hamilton class ship. This ship should be armed with high tech monitoring systems and rapid weapons systems with at least computer controlled high speed reaction three big guns with especially designed shells filled with 10mm steel balls and 3″ flechettes to knock down distant missiles or ships even if detonated just besides it can punch multiple holes in any modern ships or airplanes, plus guided missiles launchers for strategic accuracy(if the Philippines will just revive its missile technology under Marcos) or armaments can be imported from other countries other than the US. I think this will be a cheaper undertaking plus it is new. This Philippine made must also be guaranteed by the manufacturer from defects.

  • joeldcndcn

    puro “bibig” lang ang mag PMA graduates, itong navy captain na ito ay “duwag” wala kasing experience sa sea battle, kaya “bahag ang ikog”, he, he, he, kahit bigyan mo pa ng model 2011 naval ship ay wala pa ring mangyayari sa mga Ph Navy, MGA DUWAG AYAW NG GIYERA  SA PAGDEPENSA SA BANSA, MGA DUWAG, PWE’!

  • Jeanette

    Nasa Philippine waters ang Scarborough shoal napupuno ng duwag at tanga ang mga official natin sa pilipinas,puro pagnanakaw lang ang alam. Dahil sa corruption hindi na natin maprotectahan ang atin bansa,nakakahiya.Pilipinas napuno ng chino,ginagawa pa katulong ang mga familya,kamaganak natin.Panahon na para buksan natin ang atin mga mata,tama na ang pagdidicta ng mga onggoy na ito sa ating bansa.Chinese get out of the Philippines.Fishing illegally,stealing endangered species. Lets stop buying chinese,boycott chinese goods.

  • victoria1313

    no diplomatic solution, if insisted by a mentally disorder leadership. It is clear to everyone

  • valsore

    Stand your ground.

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