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Lacson: Aquino should convene security council soon to discuss sea row

/ 06:36 PM May 22, 2015

As tension over disputed territories with China continues to escalate, President Aquino should convene the National Security Council immediately so that the Philippines could discuss and set its options in case of a security crisis, former senator Panfilo Lacson suggested Friday.

The United States’ decision to fly a surveillance plane over the West Philippine Sea, and to release to the media the Chinese Navy’s message to it ordering it to flee the area, “says a lot already,” said Lacson.

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“I think the US is sending a strong signal to China and the international community that these new developments have serious geopolitical and security implications,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters.

These could potentially ignite a dangerous confrontation, he said.

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“My concern is, it only takes an aggressive action from any party in interest, no matter how insignificant, to spark a dangerous armed confrontation that could lead to war,” he said.

A meeting of the NSC would be a good opportunity for the Philippines to discuss the China issues and look for courses of action to deal with the possible scenarios that could arise, said Lacson.

“Planning ahead of a potential security crisis will serve best our country’s interest. This is a serious issue that needs study and enlightened discussion among our security officials and top policy makers,” he added.

A CNN television crew on a US surveillance plane flying near Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) captured the radio exchange between the US and the Chinese Navy.

In the video footage of the radio message, the US aircraft was told to “go away… to avoid misunderstanding.”

China has been conducting reclamation activities in Kagitingan Reef, which is disputed territory.  Both the Philippines and China has laid claim to this area.

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TAGS: China, Global Nation, Maritime Dispute, national security council, Panfilo Lacson, Philippines, president Aquino iii
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