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Palace welcomes US senators’ support for PH in sea row

/ 01:42 PM July 19, 2015
herminio-coloma

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Malacañang on Sunday welcomed the statements of United States (US) senators supporting the Philippines in the country’s pursuit of a peaceful resolution to maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea, a section of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines.

In an interview aired over radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that with the backing of Senators Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee), Ben Cardin (Democrat-Maryland), John McCain (Republican-Arizona) and Jack Reed (Democrat-Rhode Island), the country’s allies continued to increase.

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“Sa ganyang pagpapahayag nina Senator McCain at Senators Jack Reed at Bob Corker at Senator Ben Cardin, dumarami lalo ang hanay ng mga sumusuporta sa ating itinataguyod na mapayapang pagresolba ng mga usapin sa West Philippine Sea o South China Sea,” Coloma said.

(With the statements from Senators McCain, Jack Reed, Bob Corker and Ben Cardin, our allies who support our pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the issues in the West Philippine Sea are increasing.)

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The Palace official said that the Philippines will continue to exhaust all legal processes in the resolving the issue, as the country is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Coloma also said that some members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU), Japan and Australia have earlier expressed their support to the country’s position in the maritime disputes.

“Nauna na rin po ang pagpapahayag ng suporta sa adhikaing itinataguyod natin ang European Union at iba pang mga kasapi po ng ASEAN at ‘yung bansang Japan. ‘Yun pong Australia naniniwala din po sa prinsipyo ng peaceful resolution of disputes following international law,” he added.

(The European Enion and some members of the ASEAN and Japan have earlier expressed their support to our position. Meanwhile, Austrialia said that they also believe in peaceful resolution of disputes following international law.)

In a statement, the US senators urged the US government to help the Philippines and Southeast Asian countries in countering the threats posed by regional superpower China.

They also lauded President Benigno Aquino III in pursuing the legal track in asserting the country’s claim in the West Philippine Sea.

“Although the United States does not take a position on the competing claims, we applaud Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and his government for his commitment to pursuing this legal course of action,” the statement from US lawmakers read.

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TAGS: Ben Cardin, Bob Corker, China, Jack Reed, John McCain, Malacañang, Palace, territorial dispute
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