Government ready for any backlash from China

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

THE government is prepared to face any backlash following its filing of a case against China in an international court over the dispute of the two countries in the West Philippine Sea, Malacanang said Wednesday.

"We will protect our national interest, which includes the economy," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press briefing.

"It is the duty of government to promote the welfare of its citizens and to ensure the orderly and stable growth of the national economy," he said.

There were concerns from some Filipinos in China that they might be affected by the territorial dispute between the two countries.

On Chinese charge d'affaires Sun Xiangyang's statement that what the Philippines did "seriously damaged bilateral relations with China," Coloma, quoting President Benigno Aquino III, said that "the totality of Philippine-People's Republic of China relations is not defined by the West Philippine Sea."

"Sa pananaw po ng ating bansa, iyong pakikipag-ugnayan natin sa People's Republic of China ay mayroong kasaysayan na batay din sa pakikipagkaibigan at pakikipagtulungan. Marami pong larangan na maaaring maisulong o maitaguyod ang kooperasyon at ang pakikipagkaibigan ng dalawang bansa. Kaya hindi po tayo nagsasabi na iyon lamang usapin sa West Philippine Sea ang dapat maging batayan ng ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa bansang People's Republic of China," he said.

Manila and Beijing are quarreling over the clusters of island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Last March 30, the Philippines filed a memorial at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea against China. (SDR/Sunnex)

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