Malacañang on Saturday reiterated that President Benigno Aquino 3rd didn’t want to hurt China after he likened the rising superpower to Nazi Germany.
Referring to the country’s’ claim over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the Philippine government is just standing up for the Filipino people’s rights.
“Obviously, it’s as expected as mentioned by the President and in terms of the dispute, alam naman nating — kumbaga magkaharap tayo diyan (we face each other),” Valte said on government-radio Radyo ng Bayan.
“We are on different sides of the disputes and ang sinabi nga ng Pangulo is hindi naman ho tayo, hindi po natin ginugustong manakit ng damdamin. Ngunit kailangan din po nating i-assert ang ating posisyon (as the President said, we don’t want to hurt their feelings, but we have to assert our position on the issue),” she added.
Valte made these statements after Aquino drew a parallel on Wednesday between China and Nazi Germany in a speech during his state visit to Japan.
Aquino also slammed China for claiming even more territory in the West Philippine Sea through reclamation activities.
Beijing replied it was “deeply shocked at, strongly dissatisfied with, and opposed to the absurd remarks made by the Philippine leader.”
Valte said the Philippines has done its best to ease the tension in the disputed waters, as Manila pursues a historic case against Beijing.
“We always act in our nation’s interest, first and foremost; and iyon po ang ating sinisentruhan at iyon po ang nagiging pundasyon ‘nung ating mga hakbang (that’s what we’re trying to zero on in and that’s the foundation of our moves),” she said.
The Philippines and China are in the middle of a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines filed a case with an international arbitral tribunal to stake its claim, while China continues its large scale reclamation activities in area, which is believed to be in preparation for building an airstrip on disputed territory.