Philippines ‘restrained, responsible’ in West Philippine Sea row: National Security Council

National Security Council spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also stressed the root cause of tensions in the region was due to China’s non-compliance to international rulings.

John Eric Mendoza

John Eric Mendoza

Philippine Daily Inquirer


A Chinese military vessel fires water cannon at Philippine boat M/L Kalayaan during a resupply mission in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on Dec. 10, 2023. PHOTO: PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

December 27, 2023

MANILA – The Philippines has been very restrained and responsible amid the tensions surrounding the West Philippine Sea, and the same can’t be said for China, according to National Security Council spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.

Malaya made the reaction on Beijing’s claim that the Philippines actions in the WPS are “extremely dangerous.”

READ: PH actions in South China Sea ‘extremely dangerous’ – Chinese state media

“As the world has seen, it is not the Philippines that has been engaged in provocations, bullying and aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea,” Malaya told in a Viber message on Tuesday.

“In fact, the Philippines has been very restrained and responsible but the same cannot be said of China,” he added.

Beijing used water cannons and what Manila deems as “dangerous maneuvers” against its vessels during the regular resupply mission in a military outpost in Ayungin Shoal as well as its operations in Scarborough Shoal.

These actions are in line with Beijing’s assertion of sovereignty in almost the entire South China Sea, including the WPS, but an international tribunal ruling in 2016 effectively dismissed its claims while ruling heavily in favor of Manila.

Malaya also stressed the root cause of all tensions in the WPS is China’s non compliance with this ruling and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“The root of all these tensions is its non-adherence to international law, Unclos, and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” Malaya said.

“China is the only country that believes in its own narrative and propaganda,” he added. “Not a single nation has expressed support for its 10-dash line where it lays claim to practically the entire South China Sea.”

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