MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte said his administration will remain neutral amid the escalating conflict between China and Taiwan.Duterte said he was relieved that there is no tension in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as it allowed the military and police to provide necessary assistance to… Read More
President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to protect the Philippines’ interests, particularly in the West Philippine Sea, during his upcoming trip to China from Aug. 28 to 31, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said on Monday.
The former Special Assistant to the President made this assurance after Duterte said he will raise the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling in his upcoming eighth bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
“Handang-handa naman po parati si Pangulong Duterte (President Duterte is always prepared). Alam ko ipaglalaban niya. Marami siyang gustong sabihin na kung ano po ang atin ay atin (President Duterte is always ready. I know he will fight for it. He has a lot he wants to say about what is ours being ours),” Go told reporters on the sidelines of the National Heroes’ Day commemoration in Taguig City.
“Pilipino po si Pangulong Duterte, proteksyunan niya po ang interes po ng bawat Pilipino (The President is a Filipino. He will protect the interests of every Filipino),” he added.
Go said nothing could stop the President from raising the arbitral ruling despite calls to defer his plan as an act of courtesy.
“Wala pong makakapigil kay Pangulong Duterte kung ano man po ang gustong sasabihin ng Pangulo (No one can stop him from saying what he wants),” Go said.
Go said as long as it concerned the interests of the Philippines and Filipinos, Duterte has always been willing to speak his mind.
In 2016, the PCA released its decision nullifying China’s nine-dash line map covering nearly the entire of South China Sea, including the WPS.
Duterte temporarily shelved the verdict to give way to diplomatic approach but promised to raise it before his term as president ends in 2022.
Aside from the arbitral ruling, Duterte said he will also raise the 60-40 sharing deal on the proposed joint exploration for oil and gas in the WPS and the June 9 Recto Bank (Reed Bank) maritime incident, where a Chinese vessel allegedly rammed and abandoned a Philippine fishing boat at sea.
During his fifth trip to China, Duterte will also watch the game of Gilas Pilipinas against Italy on August 31 in the 2019 FIBA World Cup at the International Sports and Cultural Arena in Foshan City. (PNA)
By Lilian C. Mellejor
President Rodrigo R. Duterte doused cold water on critics speculating a sell-out of Philippines sovereignty during his state visit in Beijing, China where he is expected to discuss issues on the West Philippine Sea with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang this week.
“We do not bargain anything though. We continue to insist that it’s ours and that the Tribunal, the international decision will be taken up, but there will be no hard impositions,” President Duterte told reports in a press briefing at the Davao International Airport in Davao City shortly before his departure Sunday afternoon, October 16, for his Brunei Darussalam visit.
He also agreed with Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, who said the President can be impeached if he bargains with Philippines sovereignty.
“In all my dealings, I will remain true to the Constitutional mandate reposed on me to pursue an independent foreign policy and to uphold the national interests of the Philippines,” he said.
The President remains strongly committed to stick to the country’s claim on the West Philippine Sea, dismissing speculations on how he would deal with China on matters of the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.
“We will talk and we will, maybe paraphrased everything in the judgment and set the limits of our territories, the special economic zones. It will be no bargaining there. It is ours …,” he said.
President Duterte further emphasized that there is no bargaining of the Philippines territories, whether within the turf or to the 200-mile economic zone.
“It will remain a special concern and I will be very careful not to bargain anything for, after all, I cannot give what is not mine and which I am not empowered to do by any sketch of imagination,” he added.
He stressed that “there will be no hard impositions because it is a matter of international committee when you go there.”
“We only want to talk. And remember, there are only two options: we go to trouble or we talk. We can choose to pass there in between,” he said.
President Duterte’s visit to China is the first State Visit of a Philippine President since 2011. “This signals a key turning point in both our histories,” he said.
When in China, the President looks forward to renewing the ties of friendship between the two countries and to reaffirm the commitment to work closer to achieve shared goals for the two countries and peoples.
“As we mark this year the 41st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines, we will look at the sum total of our relationships. We shall seek ways to strengthen cooperation, particularly to intensify two-way trade and investments,” he said in his departure speech.
He said he looks forward to exchanging views with the leaders of China on how to further improve bilateral relations and identify emerging areas of partnership and various fields of cooperation.
The President reiterated his intention to also continue to espouse cooperation and collaboration with friendly nations on the basis of sovereign equality, non-interference and mutual respect. (PNA)
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday reaffirmed their respect of freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea under principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
According to a joint statement issued after a bilateral summit, the two sides also agreed to resolve the territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned.
The statement, which was released after the 19th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, added that they also undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.
Related to the South China Sea issue, the two sides also committed to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety and working substantively toward the early adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea based on consensus.
The statement added that China and ASEAN will continue to strengthen dialogue and cooperation to enhance mutual understanding and friendship, promote defense exchanges and security cooperation to address common security issues, including combating terrorism, transnational threats and other non-traditional security challenges in pursuit of regional peace and stability.
On economic issues, the two sides agreed to further deepen and expand mutually-beneficial economic cooperation, including through the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, to work towards the early and successful conclusion of “a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.”
According to the statement, China and ASEAN will continue to strengthen cooperation in the area of connectivity that will bring mutual benefits, including through capacity building and resource mobilization for the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, to explore ways to improve connectivity between both sides by synergizing common priorities identified in the master plan and China’s Belt and Road initiative, and encourage the active involvement of relevant multilateral financial institutions.
The two sides also vowed to continue strengthening cooperation in environmental protection, sustainable development and management of land and water resources, biodiversity conservation as well as address transboundary challenges, and strengthening dialogue and cooperation in the international climate change and other environment-related negotiations.
On bilateral ties, the two sides are committed to enhancing the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, including through the full and effective implementation of the 2016-2020 Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity, said the statement.
China welcomes the establishment of the ASEAN Community, and reaffirms its continued support for ASEAN’s integration process and ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture.
While for ASEAN’s part, it said that China’s development is an important opportunity for the region, and it supports China’s peaceful development, adding that ASEAN countries also reaffirm adherence to the one-China policy. (VIENTIANE, Sept. 7/PNA/Xinhua)
President Rodrigo R. Duterte will have his first foreign trip in the Southeast Asian countries from Sept. 4 to 9, Presidential Spokesman announced on Tuesday.
Abella said President Duterte approved his Southeast Asian nations tour during last Monday’s evening Cabinet meeting.
”The President will be going to ASEAN region from September 4 to 9,” Abella told the Malacanang media.
Abella did not elaborate on which countries the President will visit but the country’s popular leader is set to attend the 28th ASEAN Summit set to be held in Vietiane, Laos from Sept. 6 to 8.
President Duterte said earlier that he will not raise the West Philippine Sea (WPS) territorial dispute with China during the ASEAN Summit.
”I will only bring up the issue when we are together face to face (with China),” the President said.
The Philippines recently got favorable decision from the international Permanent Arbitration Court on the arbitration case it filed against China’s massive reclamation in the WPS or South China Sea.
The Hague-based arbitration court ruled that China had no historic title over the WPS. China refused to honor the ruling.
Aside from the Philippines, other Southeast Asian nations that have claims in the WPS include Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. (Jelly F. Musico /PNA)
China wants its territorial dispute with the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) resolved through dialogue, said a report on Wednesday, June 1, in China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency.
In the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying urged the Philippines’ incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to “return to dialogue” to resolve the dispute between Manila and Beijing over the West Philippine Sea.
“We hope the Philippines’ new government can honor their commitments and return to dialogue with China to properly handle the disputes so as to contribute to the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
Hua was reacting to the comment by incoming Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr supporting bilateral or one-on-one talks between the Philippines and China.
Yasay on GMA News on Monday, May 30, said talking with China remains “necessary” to resolve the West Philippine Sea dispute.
“I don’t think that there is another way of resolving this dispute except talking to each other,” Yasay said.