Quantcast
Latest Stories
SONA 2012

Aquino: Philippines won’t back down from feud with China


President Benigno Aquino is projected on a large screen as he delivers his State of the Nation address during the 15th Congress at the House of Representatives Monday. AP

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III said Monday that his Southeast Asian nation won’t back down from a West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territorial dispute with China and that he would better equip his country’s military for maritime defense.

Aquino announced during his annual state of the nation address that more than 40 military aircraft — from two newly refurbished C-130 cargo planes to attack helicopters — along with other weapons would be delivered in the next two years to bolster Philippine military muscle amid renewed territorial conflicts in the West Philippine Sea.

A second US Coast Guard cutter would arrive soon from the United States, Manila’s long-time defense-treaty ally.

But Aquino stressed that the Philippines was aiming to forge a peaceful solution that would be acceptable to China.

A standoff erupted in April between Chinese and Philippine ships at the Scarborough Shoal, which both countries claim. China calls the shoal Huangyan Island while Manila identifies it as Bajo de Masinloc. Aquino withdrew his country’s ships from the contested area last month as tensions with Beijing escalated, but Chinese government ships have stayed put.

Some lawmakers have suggested that the Aquino administration tone down its rhetoric and instead quietly negotiate a compromise with Asian superpower China. A Philippine senator has described the lopsided feud as a clash between a “mosquito” and “a dragon.”

“There are those who say that we should let Bajo de Masinloc go. We should avoid the trouble,” Aquino said in his nationally televised speech before Congress. “But if someone entered your yard and told you he owned it, would you agree? Would it be right to give away that which is rightfully ours?”

“I do not think it excessive to ask that our rights be respected, just as we respect their rights as a fellow nation in a world we need to share,” Aquino said, referring to China.

Aside from China and the Philippines, four other countries — Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei — have conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea. Many fear the resource-rich and busy waters could spark Asia’s next major armed conflict.

About 6,000 police officers were deployed to secure the House of Representatives, where Aquino spoke, and nearby roads. Several were injured when riot police clashed with thousands of left-wing and trade union protesters, who were seeking higher wages, land reform and a stop to alleged human rights violations.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino , China , Congress , Philippines , SONA 2012 , South China Sea , Spratly Islands , Spratlys , West Philippine Sea



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Drilon: I’m not on Napoles’ list
  • Sonar finds 1888 San Francisco shipwreck
  • Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • Marketplace