PHL shrugs off China’s seeming media campaign to get support on sea row

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Monday, June 16, 2014

THE Aquino administration is not worried by China's apparent media campaign to get sympathy from the international community regarding its territorial dispute with the other countries, like the Philippines, Malacanang said Monday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing that it is part of the "dynamics" of international relations to conduct information campaigns or to propagate a national policy by utilizing the mass media as a channel of communication.

"So we are not unduly perturbed by this action (of China)," he said.

China's permanent representative to the United Nations reportedly claimed before other parties of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) that the Philippines was getting sympathy through deception.

The Philippines has brought up its territorial row with China before the UN Arbitral Tribunal.

Coloma said that the Philippines does not need to launch its own media campaign since major media organizations, including the international press, are very much interested on the position of the government regarding the developments in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

"Nakita natin nitong mga nakaraang linggo 'yung sunud-sunod na pakikipagpanayam ng iba’t ibang international media organizations sa ating Pangulo at nilalathala nila sa kanilang mga channels ang pananaw ng ating bansa. Ipinapakita lamang nito na nagkakaroon ng traction ang ating katwiran hinggil sa pagpapairal ng international rule of law, at dahil dito, pinapansin ito ng pandaigdigang komunidad, hindi lamang ng mga kagawad ng mass media," he said.

At the same time, Coloma said the Palace supports the move of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to initiate a dialogue with China and other claimant-countries in the South China Sea for the possible moratorium on all construction and other provocative activities in the area.

He said Del Rosario is the alter-ego of President Benigno Aquino III and that the Philippines has always been advocating the peaceful settlement of disputes.

"So dialogues among parties that have conflicting claims on maritime entitlements in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea will be well-advised to consider dialogues as a worthy channel for expressing their views and for gaining a better of each other's position," the Palace official said.

He added that the Aquino administration has long been pushing for the Code of Conduct of Parties involved in claims on the South China Sea maritime entitlements.

"Kaya tiyak na makakatulong 'yang hakbang na 'yan kung sasang-ayon 'yung mga bansang naturingan," he added. (SDR/Sunnex)/b<>

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