AFP sounds like a kid complaining vs China’s aggression—Escudero
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Francis Escudero is wondering why the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was issuing statements on China’s reported aggression in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) when it has no role over the matter.
“Parang batang nagsusumbong e (They’re like a kid complaining),” Escudero said over Radyo Inquirer on Tuesday when asked about AFP Chief of Staff General Gregorio Catapang’s statement on the issue.
“Para sa akin sa isang sensitibong bagay na ito hindi dapat chief of staff ang nagsasalita dito kasi parang gulo, giyera, at barilan na agad ang gusto natin e (For me it’s a sensitive matter and it shouldn’t be the chief of staff who should speak because it sounds like violence, war and gunfight are what we want),” he said.
Escudero said it should be the DFA, and not the AFP that should explain and issue statements on the matter.
“Kung sa usapin ng South China Sea dahil wala namang papel ang AFP diyan. Dapat lang naman na walang papel ang AFP diyan dahil naghahamon na ng away at giyera kapag po ginawa natin yan (If it’s a discussion on South China Sea, the AFP has no role in that because it’s like asking for a fight, for war if we do that),” he said.
In a press conference Monday, Catapang called on China to stop the reclamation activities “and to be mindful of its responsibilities as a claimant state and an important member of the international community.”
The reclamation activities, he said, would threaten the country’s defenses.
Senator Bam Aquino, meanwhile, backed the government’s move to raise the issue before international communities, saying it was not only a local issue but a regional and global issue.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs is doing its best to resolve the issue within the regional bodies and international bodies that are available to us,” Aquino said in a statement.
“Right now, the best course of action is what we have done already, which is to raise this to the committee of nations,” he added.
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