MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang said Saturday the government had nothing to do with demonstrations against China for its incursion into the Scarborough Shoal which Manila claims to be part of the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Abigail Valte, one of President Benigno Aquino’s spokespersons, made the statement after the Chinese foreign ministry accused the Philippine government of escalating tensions following noisy but peaceful protests in Manila.
“We hope that our Chinese friends do not take this as any provocative act on the part of the Philippine government because, again, as I said, it’s a private initiative by private citizens,” Valte said on the state-run radio station dzRB.
Hong Lei, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, accused the Philippine government of encouraging the protests against China in Manila and in other capitals around the world.
“It’s a wrong action that complicates and magnifies the issue,” Hong said.