Palace: Duterte won’t change South China Sea policy

  • There’s no way President Duterte will change his policy on the West Philippine Sea or apologize for it, his spokesman said on 25 Jun 18, at the same time blaming the previous Aquino administration for triggering the militarization of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
  • Roque was commenting on acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio’s chiding of the President for insisting that asserting the Philippines’ sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea would divide the nation and result in a massacre of Filipino soldiers.
  • Carpio insisted Filipinos asserting the country’s territorial rights have never called for a war with China. He also cited the need to “resist any and all attempts to weaken the nation” in defending its national territory and maritime zones.
  • Roque said Duterte’s policy has led to bilateral cooperation with China, which is now providing military and development aid to the Philippines.
  • Roque also insisted that international law does not bar Chinese aircraft from landing in the Philippines, provided they ask for a permit.
  • President Duterte should tell the public if his administration has special arrangements with China regarding the refueling of its aircraft, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao said, adding that “Davao is becoming a logistical hub for China.”
  • He urged the people to “actively protest the transforming of the country as Chinese military base in the region” and press Duterte “to disclose his arrangements and concessions with the foreign superpower.”

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