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REACTION OF AQUINO CAMP

‘Shouldn’t Duterte administration take China to task instead?’

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 07:26 AM February 06, 2018

A spokesperson for former President Benigno Aquino III hit back on Monday at presidential spokesperson Harry Roque for blaming China’s militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea on the previous administration.

Reacting to the new photos of the Chinese military bases published by Inquirer.net, Roque said: “If the Aquino administration was not able to do anything about these artificial islands, what do they want us to do?”

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READ: EXCLUSIVE: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea Carpio: Kowtowing to Beijing is wrong

Abigail Valte, a spokesperson for Aquino, replied: “Wrong. They (China) were taken to task with the UN arbitral tribunal. We won that one, in fact. It is the administration that Mr. Roque serves that put aside the decision in our favor. And for whose benefit?”

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Valte continued: “And why is Mr. Roque blaming the Aquino administration for violations of international law committed by the Chinese? Shouldn’t he and his administration take the Chinese to task for it? Whose side are they on, anyway?”

READ: ‘What do they want us to do?’ Palace defends admin over China buildup on reef


The Aquino administration challenged China’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea in the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration after China seized Panatag Shoal, a rich fishing ground off Zambales province, after a two-month maritime standoff with the Philippines in 2012.

The tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines in July 2016, saying China’s claim had no basis in international law and that it had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights to fish and explore for resources in the West Philippine Sea, waters within the country’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.

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TAGS: Abigail Valte, Benigno Aquino III, China-Philippines relations, Harry Roque, Maritime Dispute, Permanent Court of Administration, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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