Marcos: PH defending its territorial rights is not at the behest of US

Marcos: PH defending its territorial rights is not at the behest of US

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 01:41 AM March 20, 2024

The Philippines is not acting at the behest of the “Big Brother” United States (US) when it comes to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, asserted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday. 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in Germany. | FILE PHOTO: Official facebook page of Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is not acting at the behest of the “Big Brother” United States (US) when it comes to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, asserted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, Marcos was asked about how confident he was in Washington’s support for Manila in the West Philippine Sea (the area in the South China Sea that belongs to the Philippines.)

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Marcos acknowledged the growing threat in the West Philippine Sea, but maintained that the Philippines will not kowtow to the US.

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“It is dangerous for one to think in terms of when something goes wrong,  we’ll run to Big Brother.  That’s not the way we treat it at all. We do this for ourselves. We do this because we feel that we have to do it, and it’s not at the behest of the United States,” said Marcos.

READ: SCS collision not reason to invoke defense pact with US–Marcos

The US and the Philippines share a mutual defense treaty, which the former has repeatedly touted following increasing tensions in the disputed waters. Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea has increased since Marcos assumed the presidency, with incidents evolving from water cannon attacks to direct collisions of Philippine and Chinese vessels.

Despite these aggressions, Marcos emphasized that it was important to remain peaceful. The President refused to answer a question pertaining to the US’ willingness to go to war over the South China Sea dispute.

READ: Marcos counters China’s demand on sea row: PH didn’t start the problems

“We would like to take a step back from that question, that is precisely what we want to avoid. We want to do everything we possibly can together with our partners and our allies, to avoid that situation,” said Marcos.

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“This is not poking the bear, as it were.  We are trying to do quite the opposite. We are trying to keep things at a manageable level, to continue the dialogues, whatever they are, at every level,” added the President.

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TAGS: Bongbong marcos, United States, West Philippine Sea

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