Trillanes to DFA: Don’t be alarmist


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. Photo by’s Noy Morcoso III

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday scored the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for its “alarmist” posturing against China in the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Trillanes, who conducted back-channel talks with China at Malacañang’s behest last year, said the DFA should let the Department of National Defense (DND) do its job and apprehend intruders in Philippine-owned areas in the sea, and not announce everything to the media.

“I was assigned for a long time to that area and we did what had to be done without making noise in the media. We were able to protect our territory without making a big thing out of it in the press,” said Trillanes, a former junior Navy officer, in a media forum in Manila.

“I hope that would be the approach of the DFA and that it just lets the DND do its job on the ground without making any unnecessary scandal when there is still none,” he said.

“We are becoming alarmist when that is not necessary,” he added.

Trillanes said the DFA should quietly confirm any foreign incursions in Philippine territory without broadcasting it to the world.

In his time, he said, “our Navy boarded and immediately searched ships that (entered) the country’s territory and you didn’t need to announce that.”

He said the Philippines then took actions to assert its authority over the disputed territories, “without declaring war or agitating anybody.”

Now, he said, “we could put our map (including the disputed territories) on our money. If they can do that, we could do the same,” he said, referring to China’s inclusion of contested islands on maps on its passport.

“The bottom line is to resolve the dispute diplomatically so as not to agitate and reach a point that we cannot back away from,” Trillanes said.

He said that when he was negotiating with the Chinese last year, he was able to correct the shortcomings of the Filipino officials who were formally negotiating with Beijing over the standoff in the West Philippine Sea.

“Tensions really heated up then because there were too many boats there and, only a few notches more, there could have been a fire-fight,” he said.

“We believe we were able to achieve what we were ordered to do, which was to lessen the tension. That was our only mission,” he added.

Trillanes said a third party should eventually help resolve the territorial dispute because neither country will budge.

“On China’s side or the Philippines’ side, no one is going to agree to give up (territory) so it should be resolved by a third party,” he said.

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  • Tropicbus

    Diplomacy and hundreds of anti-shipping missiles of various makes lining their shores.  Vietnam has done part of their homework.

  • Tyler Go

    DFA is all noise and less output.

    • Coconutnut

      E yung head kase nila e matandang walang pinagtandaan… LOL

  • mybelle

    Del rosario! Shhooooo!

  • Agata Baltazar

    nawalan na ako ng bilib kay del rosario… sana may delicadeza sya at magresign na… pero parang wala e.. kaya hanggang ngayon maingay pa din… 

  • Sandiego

    Too much noise the solution is simple. Develop our defense industry. Japan is willing to help. Japan is an excellent partner. Loyal and stays until the job is finished. If we have the will it can be done. Just because the solution is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s actually very difficult to develop a defense industry.  But that’s what needs to happen to secure our rights.

  • baliad

    Maganda Ginagawa ni Del Rosario..yan kasi ang trabaho ng Department of Foreign Affairs
    ano naman gagawin ng Department of National Defense!? masyadong tahimik ang Military last previous years sa ginagawa ng China… napabayaan ng minor officials kaya nagkaroon ng military Post ang china in 1997 sa West Philippine Sea
    madami sa kanila pwd Bayaran madaling ma Bribe! kong tatahimik tayo no body knows in the end!
    South Korea, Russia and Japan announce if China enter in territories
    we should do the same

    Noise is the only DFA can do to defend our territories … buying Arms Philippines Congress can do!

    Sabi ni Senator it should be resolved by a third party!
    the question how we can achieved that?ei ayaw ng china na merong mag join na Third Party
    you just cant stay quiet even bumili ka ng  heavy arms we will never defeat china by our own

    Senator Enrile should be blame kong bakit nabunyag ang backdoor talk ni Trillanes! its weakened our alliance and trust with Democratic Citizens
    Noise and Let the world knows

  • allyson_yan

    Del rosario should be ashamed of himself because of deliberately putting the people in an unreasonable panic mode. Just do your job Mr Secretary. Please.

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