“The Secretary explained that while the Philippines came into the talks at a time when it has received no further reports of island building in features claimed by the Philippines, he agreed with the other ASEAN Foreign Ministers that concerns over land reclamation would still need to be reflected in the Joint Communique, in consideration of the probability that land reclamation may still be occurring or may yet occur in features in the South China Sea outside of the Philippine claim,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said after Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI)-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reported that China continued reclamation activities Paracel Islands in South China Sea.
AMTI made the report after Cayetano said China stopped reclaiming land.
“While there have been land reclamation activities that have taken place in the Paracels in the previous months based on the AMTI report, the same report did not indicate that such activity was taking place just prior to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM). We would like to assure the public that if ever there are reports to the contrary, these will be carefully studied, verified and handled accordingly,” DFA said.
DFA highlighted that “the position of the Philippines is to always reflect the current situation in the West Philippine Sea and the foreign policy direction of the Philippines – which is not to surrender a single inch of Philippine territory while at the same time working towards good neighborly relations with other claimants – is always based on the latest intelligence we have on the ground.”
“The Joint Communique reflected the recent developments which promote confidence-building and contribute to reducing tensions in the region, such as the adoption of the Framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and the operationalization of the Foreign Ministry-to-Foreign Ministry Hotlines and application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea in the South China Sea,” it added.
MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) is set to test its newly-acquired Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd Spike-ER surface-to-surface missile systems on July 17 to 18 and July 24 to 26 off Corregidor … [Read More...]
MANILA -- The latest victory of Senator Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao against Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse highlights the grit and determination of a Filipino, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) … [Read More...]
MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said an automatic integration of fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its splinter cells to the police ranks is unlikely … [Read More...]
COTABATO CITY -- Police have launched manhunt against two men who tried to kill a village chairperson of a communist rebel-infested town of Magpet in North Cotabato on Tuesday morning, a provincial … [Read More...]
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- The military here claimed that 12 Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed in military offensives on Sunday and Monday. Capt. Arvin … [Read More...]
MANILA -- The risk of any violence erupting during President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23 is very low, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs … [Read More...]