PH – Vietnam talks set to quell maritime dispute
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday said the Philippines and Vietnam will start talks after Vietnamese vessels were also seen within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Marcos said he was able to discuss the matter with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and told him that both governments should reach an agreement to avoid any problems.
“Nag-usap kami ng Prime Minister. We have to find a way. Sabi ko huwag ‘yung ganito na nag-a-ano tayo, mag-usap tayo nang mabuti. That’s why I have asked our foreign ministers, ating Foreign Secretary and then the Foreign Minister of Vietnam to begin developing the talks so that we can have an agreement na hindi na siguro magkaproblema ng mga ganyang klase,” he said in an interview.
(I talked with the Prime Minister. We have to find a way. I said it should not be like this, we should talk about it thoroughly. That’s why I have asked our foreign ministers, our Foreign Affairs Secretary and then the Foreign Minister of Vietnam to begin developing the talks so that we can have an agreement so that we won’t have any problems.)
Last March, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said it had spotted Chinese and Vietnamese vessels in waters around Sabina and Ayungin Shoals, and Pag-asa Island in Palawan from March 16 to 21.
Marcos earlier urged all involved parties to abide by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to ensure that the South China Sea does not become a “nexus for armed conflict.”
He also said he has directed the Department of Foreign Affairs and the PCG to identify and create a map of the Philippines’ fishing ground in the West Philippine Sea.
This, he said, would be presented to China.