South China Sea militarization an issue between China, US â Palace
"We will move on on issues that we agreed upon and set aside contentious issues for now," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Presidential Communications

South China Sea militarization an issue between China, US — Palace

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - May 21, 2018 - 4:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will not meddle with Beijing's militarization of the South China Sea as it is an issue between China and the United States, Malacañang said Tuesday.

The statement came days after China's Air Force deployed bomber aircraft on one of its outposts on Woody Islands, Beijing's largest outpost in the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque noted that China would use its military outposts in the contested waterway as defense while the US would deploy aircraft carriers as part of freedom of navigation operations.

RELATED: China: No need to overinterpret bomber in South China Sea

"Paulit-ulit po sinasabi ng president girian po 'yan ng dalawang bansa. Hindi po tayo makikisali sa girian na 'yan pero tayo po syempre ay nangangamba rin dahil ginagamit po natin 'yang karagatan na 'yan para sa ating kalakalan," Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque insisted that the Philippine government will not give up the country's territory but it will set aside "contentious issues" as of the moment.

"Walang teritoryong pamimigay, paninindigan natin ang karapatan at soberanya pero we will move on issues that we agreed upon and set aside contentious issues for now," Roque said.

In response to the statement of acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio urging the Philippine government to formally protest China's activities in the region, the Malacañang spokesman reiterated the Department of Foreign Affairs' position on the matter.

The DFA earlier said that it is taking diplomatic action necessary to protect the country's claim and that it is closely monitoring the developments in the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

"While appropriate language, whether expressions of condemnation or concern, over certain developments are clearly conveyed through diplomatic channels, it is not our policy to publicize every action taken by the Philippine Government whenever there are reported developments taking place in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea," the DFA said in a statement.

Roque added that reiterating the ASEAN's position on the South China Sea dispute would be tantamount to coordinating with other claimant states on the maritime dispute.

RELATED: Failure to protest China's bombers mean consent to militarization — Carpio

Aside from formally protesting China's militarization, Carpio also urged the Philippine government to coordinate with claimant states and other concerned states on resisting Beijing's aggression.

"Failure to coordinate, and to harness world opinion to support the arbitral ruling, will be handing over to China on a silver platter the West Philippine Sea," Carpio said.

The Paracel chain, where China landed its H-6K long range bomber, is being contested by Vietnam. Hanoi had called out Beijing's deployment and accused China of violating their sovereignty.

Analysts warned that China may soon deploy bombers to the "big three" islands and its combat radius would cover the entire South China Sea, including the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.

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