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Locsin: PH should invest in weaponry than ‘throwing money at poverty’

/ 11:50 AM April 18, 2019
Locsin: PH should invest on weaponry than 'throwing money at poverty'

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Instead of determining the Philippines’ foreign policy, China’s mindset on the disputed West Philippine Sea should inform the government to consider investing in weaponry rather than “throwing money at poverty.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said this in a tweet as a response to Senator Panfilo Lacson, who reminded him of 2013 China Daily Mail report, which posted the transcript of China’s then Major General Zhang Zhaozhong’s TV interview in Beijing.

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In the said report, General Zhaozhong revealed China’s strategy to recover all the “Chinese islands and reefs illegally occupied by the Philippines.”

“SFA [Secretary of Foreign Affairs] Teddy Boy, a wide reader that you are, I just thought you might have skipped this one which shows the mindset of China on WPS [West Philippine Sea],” Lacson tweeted as he posted the link of the said report.

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“For whatever it is worth, I hope it will further enrich your perspective from the point of view of foreign policy,” the senator added.

Responding to Lacson’s tweet, Locsin said: “It is a Free World now after the CIA  defeated the USSR.”

“Every country can speak whatever is on its mind,” he pointed out.

“What it says should not determine foreign policy but it should inform the national budgetary process that we gotta stop throwing money at poverty and throw it at weaponry,” Locsin added.

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While Lacson agreed with the foreign affairs chief, he pointed out that what China had said in the 2013 report “is exactly how they are conducting maneuvers” in the West Philippine Sea.

“Sun Tzu’s ‘winning a thousand battles if you know yourself and your enemy’ easily comes to mind. I’m no expert [in] foreign policy but I feel it is my duty to  inform and help,” he said in a later tweet to Locsin.

China’s incursions

Earlier, the Philippine military said it monitored a surge of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island, the biggest of nine Philippine-occupied islands and shoals in the South China Sea.

Locsin said he has “fired off a salvo of diplomatic notes” on the issue to China prior to his Beijing trip last March.

READ: Locsin wants Chinese vessels swarming around Pag-asa out

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would deploy soldiers on a “suicide mission” if Chinese forces “touched” Pag-asa (Thitu) Island.

READ: Duterte to send soldiers on suicide mission vs. China if…

In addition, the country’s top diplomat also disclosed that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would be “taking legal actions” against China over the reported harvesting of giant clams in the Scarborough shoal.

READ: Philippines ‘taking legal action’ vs China over Scarborough clams

“We took the…report of the national task force on the West Philippine Sea, we said this is verified by us, we protest this, this is illegal and in fact you’re also violating conventions on environmental protection…for which we can take legal action,” Locsin said in an interview with CNN Philippines early this week.
The Philippines and China are locked in a longstanding maritime dispute  with Beijing, claiming nearly the entire South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippine Sea.

In January 2013, the Philippines filed a case challenging the China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea before the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea in July 2016, which China refused to recognize./jpv

READ: PH wins arbitration case over South China Sea 

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TAGS: China, DFA, local news, Locsin, Philippine news update, weapons, West Philippine Sea
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