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ON TALKS WITH CHINESE COUNTERPART OVER WPS ISSUES

Lacson tells Locsin: ‘May the force be with you’ 

/ 03:48 PM August 12, 2019
Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, shakes hands with Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse Wednesday, March 20, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Pool photo by ANDREA VERDELLI via AP)

MANILA, Philippines — “May the force be with you.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson said this to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for when the latter would discuss issues concerning the West Philippine Sea (WPS) with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi.

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“May the force be with you when you discuss WPS with your Chinese counterpart from the far end of the conference table,” Lacson said over Twitter on Monday.

The senator further said that the foreign affairs chief should “think of the 93 [percent] of Filipino adults who want to regain control of the country’s islands in the West Philippine Sea” during talks on maritime issues between the two countries.

Last July 11, Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that 93 percent of Filipinos believe that it is important that the government regain control over China-occupied islands in the West Philippine Sea.

READ: 93% of Filipinos see importance of regaining control of China-occupied islands – SWS

“Imagine a Teddy Boy Locsin monument in front of Torre de Manila,” Lacson added.

One of Locsin’s response to Lacson was a suggestion to increase the “minuscule” budget allocated to the Department of Defense (DND).

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

“Can we do something to increase the minuscule budget of the Department of Defense, most of it going to administrative cost—or the long tail and short teeth of PH teeth-to-tail force ratio?,” Locsin said.

Lacson said that he had always tried to increase DND’s budget since he “started sponsoring the defense budget as [S]enate finance committee vice chair.”

“In actual fact, I always do every year since I started sponsoring the defense budget as senate finance committee vice chair, excising from hidden pork barrel usually parked somewhere in the center of the earth by some honorable, forever hungry kapalmuks,” the senator added.

More than three years after the Philippines sealed a historic win against China before the United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte would raise the 2016 ruling that invalidated China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea during his 5th visit to Beijing this August.

READ: ‘The Time has come’: Duterte to invoke Hague ruling in China visit this August

Since he assumed office in 2016, Duterte has taken a soft stance in enforcing the Hague ruling in exchange of Chinese economic perks like loans and Beijing-funded infrastructure projects.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, however, maintained that China’s opposition on the ruling would remain the same.

READ: China rejection of arbitral ruling on South China Sea stays – envoy

“We expressed that we will not accept it. We will not recognize that. That remains. Our position has not changed and we will not be changed,” Zhao told reporters in a chance interview last Friday./ac

READ: China rejection of Hague ruling won’t stop Duterte from raising issue during visit

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TAGS: Asia, China, DFA, Diplomacy, Global Nation, local news, Maritime Dispute, nation, national news, News, Philippine news updates, Philippines, Security, sovereignty, survey ship, Teddy Locsin Jr., Territory, West Philippine Sea
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