Vice President Jejomar Binay said Monday that Filipino workers in China are not being harassed despite the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal.
“We have not received any news about any [overseas Filipino worker] being maltreated in China,” Binay said in a statement. “I believe that the Panatag dispute will not be a reason for this to happen,” Binay said, using the Philippine name of Scarborough Shoal.
Binay, who is also presidential adviser on Filipino migrant workers’ affairs, said he was confident China and the Philippines could achieve a “peaceful and diplomatic solution” to the dispute.
He reiterated the Philippine stand that all conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea should be settled in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“I am one with President Benigno Aquino III in the belief that both countries can agree to a peaceful and diplomatic solution,” Binay said. “The Philippines and China both have a stake in ensuring peace, stability and economic development in the region,” he said.
The Vice President also said the Chinese Embassy was only protecting its nationals when it issued a travel advisory ahead of protests by Filipinos at Chinese embassies around the world on May 11.
“We need to have sobriety,” Binay said. “It’s but natural that their embassy issues a statement and tells their tourists to be careful because a rally is going to take place. It’s also natural that they tell their countrymen who are planning to go to think twice before going,” he said.
The Vice President advised against reacting to statements coming from unofficial sources. “It’s difficult because we hear many things that turn out not to be the official position of the countries involved,” Binay said.
“Isn’t it that a report came out that they’re preparing for war but they [denied] it immediately, saying this is not their official stand?” Binay said.