Malacanang on Monday expressed support to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) proposal to conduct dialogue with China and other claimants in the West Philippine Sea to push a moratorium on construction activities that are provocative in the area.
In a press briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the dialogue is a “worthy channel” for expressing their views and for gaining a better of each other’s position.
Coloma said the Philippines has been pushing for peaceful solution to issue related to the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, as it urges claimant countries to work on a binding code of conduct (COC).
ASEAN and China have been working since 2002 on the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea.
Coloma recalled that in 2012, concerned countries recognized the need to map out to the COC to provide “substance” on the code.
The PCOO chief believes that DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario’s proposed moratorium on construction activities is intended to have specific agenda towards working on COC.
“Kaya tiyak na makakatulong ‘yang hakbang na ‘yan kung sasang-ayon ‘yung mga bansang naturingan. (So definitely, this initiative will help should claimant countries agree),” he said.
Meanwhile, Coloma said the government is not inclined to launch a media offensive against China.
This, after China’s permanent representative to the United Nations (un) claimed before other parties of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that the Philippines is getting international sympathy through deception.
“It is part of the dynamics of international relations to conduct information campaigns or to propagate a national policy by utilizing the mass media as a channel of communication. So we are not unduly perturbed by this action,” Coloma said.
He said the government sees no need to launch a media offense against China as the major international media organizations have been reaching out to the Philippines to determine its position on the issue.
“Ipinapakita lamang nito na nagkakaroon ng traction ang ating katwiran hinggil sa pagpapairal ng international rule of law, at dahil dito, pinapansin ito ng pandaigdigang komunidad, hindi lamang ng mga kagawad ng mass media. (This shows that there is traction in our justification to promote the international rule of law. This is being noticed by the international community, not only by the mass media),” he added. PNA