Government looks into Chinese ships' presence at Recto Bank

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Monday, August 18, 2014

MALACANANG said Monday that concerned government agencies were already dealing on the latest report that new Chinese vessels have been spotted in Philippine-claimed areas in the West Philippine Sea.

In a press briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. reiterated the three-way approach of the government in dealing with the territorial dispute with China.

"Iyan pong usapin na ‘yan ay haharapin ng ating Department of Foreign Affairs. Patuloy din pong hinaharap ‘yang sitwasyong ‘yan ng ating Department of National Defense sa pamamagitan ng Philippine Navy at Philippine Coast Guard," he said on report regarding the presence of Chinese vessels at Recto Bank off Palawan province.

President Benigno Aquino III, in a recent interview with TV5, disclosed about the presence of the Chinese ships at Recto Bank.

He wondered what these vessels have been doing in the area, as he expressed hope that this latest development would not add to the tension between the Philippines and China.

He even described China's attitude toward the sea row as "seasonal," saying, "kapag kausap natin ang Tsina, with all due respect, parang season-season. May season na belligerent. May season na friendly. May charm offensive at may panahon naman na hindi."

Coloma said the Philippines will continue to pursue its three strategies in relation to West Philippine Sea.

These include the call for moratorium in all the activities in West Philippine Sea; the formation of the Code of Conduct on South China Sea of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; and the resolution of the issue before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal.

"Patuloy pong sinusunod ng ating pamahalaan ‘yung estratehiya ng mapayapa at diplomatikong solusyon sa mga usapin ng West Philippine Sea," Coloma said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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