- Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay has made sensitive remarks regarding the territorial dispute between China and Philippines
- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stated that territorial defense is a top priority of the new administration
- The Philippine government challenged China's validity as they claim vast territories
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, the newly assigned Philippine foreign secretary, has made sensitive remarks regarding the territorial dispute in South China Sea in the new administration’s first Cabinet meeting, thursday.
The Cabinet was in the middle of tackling the territorial dispute between China and Philippines when Yasay made some remarks on how the government plans to respond to the international arbitration ruling this July 12. The meeting was covered live by the state-owned TV network, PTV4, and that was only then when the broadcast was cut away.
It was unclear if the Yassay knew he was being televised as he delivers his remarks when he expressed opposition to a request by foreign governments, asking the Philippines to issue a stronger statement regarding the territorial dispute if the tribunal rules favorably. On the same meeting, Duterte said that the government have to look into how they utilize the upcoming sovereignty by The Hague on the maritime case.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stated on Friday that territorial defense is a top priority under the Duterte administration, with defeating Abu Sayaff and eliminating criminality on the side.
“We are discussing the response we are going to issue in the coming weeks, sa 12 pa naman lalabas and I believe we can already craft the appropriate response to that when it comes.” (We are discussing the response we are going to issue in the coming weeks, the decision will come out on July 12 and I believe we can already craft the appropriate response to that when it comes.), Lorenzana said.
During the campaign period, Duterte has mentioned that there is no way he will surrender Scarborough Shoal to China but he said, at the same, that he might consider bilateral talks.
The Philippines tested the validity of vast territorial claims of China in a case the country has filed against Beijing.
“Tatlong taon pinaghirapan yan, at ngayon magkakaroon ng ruling na favorable satin I think we will take advantage of that so that we will get concessions maybe from other parties para sa resolution ng kaso. Sabi ni President kahapon we will make our appropriate response after the ruling.” (We worked hard for it for three years, and now we might get a ruling that is favorable to us I think we will take advantage of that so that we will get concessions maybe from other parties for the case’s resolution. The President said yesterday we will make our appropriate response after the ruling.), Lorenzana stated. - AA, Kami Media