November 21, 2023
MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday (US time) said the Philippines needs the United States and other allies amid “heightening tension” in the West Philippine Sea, as he reiterated his vow not to give up an inch of the country’s territory.
Speaking at the Daniel Inouye Asia Pacific for Security Studies here, the President cited the “critical role” of the US-Philippine alliance.
“The United States is our, I would say, our oldest and most traditional partner and that has been in various forms, ongoing over a hundred years. And I think it serves as well to remember that the United States is the Philippines’ only treaty partner,” he said.
The heightening tension in the West Philippine Sea, as we have named it, is generally known as the South China Sea, the increasing tensions in the South China Sea require that we partner with our allies and our friends around the world, so for us to come to some kind of resolution and to maintain the peace,” he added.
Marcos pointed out that “[t]ensions in the West Philippine Sea are growing with persistent unlawful threats and challenges against Philippine sovereign rights and jurisdiction over our exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, actions that violate obligations under international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS and the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.”
He maintained that the Philippines would “not give a single square inch of our territory to any foreign power.”
“The law is clear as defined by the UNCLOS and the final and binding 2016 award on the South China Sea arbitration,” he added.
UNCLOS is an international agreement that instituted a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world’s oceans and seas. It also established rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources.