No need to convene NSC – Palace

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Malacañang does not see the need to convene the National Security Council or call a full Cabinet meeting to take up the recent Chinese incursions in the Ayungin Shoal.

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Interviewed on radio on Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said the Aquino administration feels that there is no need for such a high-level meeting at this time.

The President usually summons the council or the entire Cabinet to a meeting to discuss urgent national concerns.

Valte said Aquino is firm in continuing to deal with the issue given the limited resources that the Philippines has at present.

“The President said that so far, we’re dealing with it on the level that is effective for us,” she said.

The reported presence of armed Chinese patrols in Ayungin has added to the tension in the area. The Department of Foreign Affairs has raised concerns that an armed confrontation could erupt if the tension does not ease.

Valte said the government will continue to use diplomacy in resolving the disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

“We’ve not changed our stance, if you notice, in the maritime disputes that we’ve had in the past years, and it’s deliberate,” the spokesman said.

“We’ve chosen not to respond to provocative statements and provocative actions that may not be productive for the path that we’ve chosen to take,” she said.

Valte also said the Palace is asking the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to look into the possibility of providing assistance to the fishermen who have been denied access to the disputed area.

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