PH takes diplomatic tone amid fresh tension over dispute sea
MANILA, Philippines – Even after China ignored the government’s pending proposal of freezing all reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea in order to defuse tensions, Malacañang on Tuesday maintained its commitment to a peaceful resolution on the disputed sea.
“We prefer to focus on diplomatic, political and legal options that lead the way towards the peaceful settlement of disputes,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.
Coloma issued the statement after China rejected the government’s pending proposal for a moratorium on construction efforts in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.
“Hindi po natitinag ang ating pagnanais na humanap ng mga mapayapang kalutasan sa mga usapin hinggil sa West Philippine Sea. Anuman ang sabihin ng iba, mananatili po tayong mahinahon at hindi po tayo padadala sa mga maliligalig na usapan,” he said.
(We remain firm in our desire to find peaceful means in addressing issues in the West Philippine Sea. Whatever they say, we will remain calm and will never be cowed by China’s strong words.)
He said the government is doing the necessary steps to continue asserting Philippine sovereign rights in the disputed areas.
“That is why we also have the Coast Guard that conducts periodic patrols and conducting regular trips in all the waters of our archipelago,” he said.
China has responded to Philippine’s call for a moratorium on all activities in the disputed waters urging the country to withdraw all its manpower and facilities in the Spratly Islands.
The Chinese government has accused the Philippines of taking provocative actions and making irresponsible remarks against China.
On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it would propose to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) a moratorium on activities in the West Philippine Sea after China started reclamations over our disputed islands.
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