By Roy C. Mabasa
Amid reports of continuous militarization in the South China Sea, the government said yesterday that it is closely monitoring the developments in the area in coordination with other relevant agencies without the necessity of publicizing the actions they are taking.
“We are taking the appropriate diplomatic action necessary to protect our claims and will continue to do so in the future,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
It reiterated its commitment to protect “every single inch of our territory and areas which we have sovereign rights over.”
“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.
The DFA pointed out that the country “gained much under the Duterte administration” amid criticisms that it has set aside the ruling handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the Philippines.
“Fighting for our rights under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and under our present strategy, we intend to achieve much more, including, but not limited to, an effective comprehensive Code of Conduct that will promote peace, cooperation, and stability in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea,” the DFA said.
It further said that moving forward, they are taking a different approach to avoid any “drawbacks and challenges.”
“In professionally and prudently advancing our interests in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, we will always be guided by our patriotic duty to protect the Filipino people and defend our sovereignty,” the DFA said.