Aquino hopeful about talks on West Philippine Sea code of conduct


President Aquino AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III is flying to Brunei Wednesday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, optimistic that the push for talks on the code of conduct in the (West Philippine Sea) South China Sea with China would prosper.

The Asean has reached a consensus to push for an early conclusion of negotiations on a legally binding code of conduct that would govern any conflict over overlapping claims in the international waterway between member-countries and China.

“We’re optimistic that we’ll see progress because of the 22nd summit,’’ one of the President’s spokespersons, Abigail Valte, said at a Malacañang news briefing.

Valte observed that Brunei has updated its priorities in its chairmanship of Asean this year following last year’s Asean consensus that the time was ripe to negotiate a code of conduct on the West Philippine Sea.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei week flew to Manila last week for a brief state visit to discuss the agenda of the summit with Aquino.

The Associated Press reported that a draft statement to be issued after the summit would reaffirm the Asean leaders’ commitment to ensure peaceful resolution of conflicts in the waterway in accordance with international law “without resorting to the threat or use of force.’’

The Asean leaders would call for an “early adoption’’ of the code of conduct with Beijing, which has maintained that the time wasn’t ripe for it, and preferred to negotiate with individual claimants.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam of Asean, as well as China and Taiwan have overlapping claims over the West Philippine Sea that over the last few years has become a flashpoint for conflict.

Observers said the tense standoff between Philippines and Chinese vessels at the Scarborough Shoal in April last year underlined the importance of a code of conduct with Beijing.

Aquino is flying Wednesday afternoon for the opening of the summit in Bandar Seri Begawan with three Chinese surveillance ships still in the area, despite earlier agreement by both countries to withdraw.

The continuing intrusion is a violation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the West Philippine Sea, a 2002 non-aggression accord, foreign affairs officials said.

The brief, two-day summit opens with a “working dinner’’ hosted by Bolkiah on Wednesday night. The next day at the Retreat Session, the leaders will exchange views on regional and international issues, and the future of the regional bloc.

Aquino will also join his counterparts in the 9th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit after the retreat session.

Joining the President are Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras and presidential spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda.

Apart from pushing for the code, the Philippines has challenged China’s claim over most of the West Philippine Sea by filing a notification and statement of claim with the United Nations.

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  • boldyak

    never will this administration mention about sabah….taga nyo yan sa bato….

    • Pinoy Bodoh


  • pepito gwaps

    Sultan Bolkiah met him in advance prior to summit…we call it backdoor meeting….

  • Pinoy Bodoh

    Its only called the West Philippine Sea in the Philippines. All the other countries in this world calls it the South China Sea. Therein lies a major root factor of the problem.

    • TreadLikely

      Wrong re’tard. Trying to twist things as usual, you fcking mentally challenged oaf.

      The major root of the problem is China virtually claiming the entire South China Sea even as far as going beyond other country’s EEZ.

      China’s nine-dash claim is already vague in itself, there is no limit or established points. They can literally go to neighboring country’s shores and still claim it as part of their territory

      • LessGrease

        You can’t reason out with autistic children.

        Just keep flagging his posts.

      • HarryK

        What is wrong with autistic children? Many of them maybe wiser than you.

      • Pinoy Bodoh

        Haha..say what you like but 99% of the armed forces of the countries surrounding you can beat the living daylights out of yours. LOL FOREVER !!!

      • TreadLikely

        Changing the topic. As expected of a simpleton.

        You can’t even argue for sh!t.

      • Pinoy Bodoh

        Only a turd like you would argue on a simplistic basis. The south china sea is a potential military flash point. MILITARY. Try arguing with the navies of other countries with that 45 year ex coast guard cutter junk of yours. Your problem is you can’t accept the truth vis-a-vis the crap state of your armed forces.

      • TreadLikely

        Still playing that game, I see. You’re just reinforcing my statement of you changing the topic, unable to argue for sh!t and being a simpleton.

        Please stop embarrassing yourself.

        I like how our discussion evolved from the root cause of the problem of South China Sea to criticizing old military hardware. You have a mentality of a 3 year old child. Oh wait, comparing you to a 3 year old child is too insulting to the 3 year olds themselves.

    • Matt Lee

      Yep, its neologism at its finest.

    • $26149191

      Blockhead the roots of the problem is you. Lol

  • $18209031

    WOw, working hard on the claims of the South China Sea — as if its a matter of life and death. While backstabbing the same time the real owners of Sabah, the Filipino Tausugs of the Southern Philippines .

    This is pure irony on the part of Tagaleg Manila Govt. They let Sabah go in 1963 by virtue the Malayo Bhumiputras were brown cousins who cannot do wrong to its neighbors. BEsides the respect for the socalled rule of law was put asunder by British and Malayo manipulations at the time.

    Today Pnoy is banking on the rule of law in the case of South China Sea even naming it as West Philippine Sea. Where was this bravado and the call for the rule of law in 1963?

    Wasnt it that the land of Sabah was dubbed as British North Borneo with the dirty Brits from 1878 to 1963 ? . THe PHilippiines should had not recognized it as such but renamed it officially as Phiippine North Borneo as basis of its claim in the UN.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      thought i would let you know the british take baths. comes from the roman days lol

      • giltor


  • kulkat8

    China has already taken control of Scarborogh Shoal. Filipino fishermen can not even fish in that area now. Time to buy some gadget to defend Kalayaan.

    • $18209031

      We already have the BRP Humabon , Del Rosario and Del Pilar armed with harpoon missiles and the rule of law.

      • $26149191

        In Philippine small Uten people are everywhere. They should go back to the Jungle of

      • $18209031

        You are referring to your own little monkey Uts from Indo Malayo Jungle?

      • Pinoy Bodoh

        45 year old junks.

      • $18209031

        Pinalitan daw ng bagong propellar ang makina. Ayos na ….

      • Pinoy Bodoh

        i don’t speak tagalog. And your ex US coast guard cutters IS NOT ARMED WITH HARPOON MISSILES. Get your facts right before you start day dreaming.

      • Pinaslover

        It’s ok, we have a secret weapon.

  • disqusted0fu

    What about Sabah? Is Pnoy not only abandoning the sultanates of Sulu? But is he also totally abandoning the PH claim on that vast and rich land that technically belongs to the PH to begin with? What’s he getting in exchange for that that he is completely ignoring the issue?

    • $18209031

      ARe you familiar with backstabbing culture that hails from Indo Malayo lineage?

    • Pinoy Bodoh


  • HarryK

    Belligerence will get us nowhere. Only mature statesmen can resolve the problem.

  • joboni96


    tuloy ang pagpalakas ng depensa
    capable affordable appropriate defense

    pro pilipino that develops pilipino economy and technology
    not pocket enlarging, vendor driven purchases

    start with astig pro pilipino mindset
    specially in colonized dnd and afp

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