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‘We have not surrendered our title’ in West PH Sea – Palace

/ 01:40 PM May 15, 2018

Surveillance photo given to the Inquirer by a source shows one of the reefs transformed by China into a virtual fortress in the West Philippine Sea

The Duterte administration has “not surrendered” the country’s claim to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque insisted on Tuesday.

“We’ve always been putting down our feet. We have not surrendered our title, we have not relinquished our title. We maintain we have title,” Roque said in a Malacañang briefing.

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While admitting that the government was not able to do anything as far as China’s military maneuvers are concerned, Roque said they “continue to resort to diplomatic initiatives.”

“While we may not be able to do anything as far as their military maneuvers are concerned, we continue to resort to diplomatic initiatives and I assure you that while we are not noisy at it, any development that happens, it is also accompanied by diplomatic steps by the Department of Foreign Affairs,” he added.

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The Palace official issued the statement after surveillance images obtained by Inquirer.net revealed that Chinese warships and aircraft have been frequenting Philippine territory in the Spratly archipelago since 2017.

READ: China warships, planes sighted at PH-claimed reefs since 2017

The report said it is an indication of a steady pace of development toward “operational status” of Beijing’s military bases in the hotly contested region. /kga

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TAGS: Diplomacy, dispute, foreign relations, Harry Roque, Malacañang, Rodrigo Duterte, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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