By Genalyn D. Kabiling
The Philippines does not consider China a threat to national security but has expressed “serious concerns” over the presence of its bombers in the disputed South China Sea, Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government intends to raise the matter in the next bilateral dialogue with China amid the renewed call for “non-militarization” of South China Sea to ease tension arising from the disputes in the strategic waterway.
“We take note of the reports that appeared and we express our serious concerns anew on its impact on constructive efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
He also highlighted the declaration recently issued by Southeast Asian leaders on the “importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could further complicate the situation in the West Philippine Sea.”
“The Philippines reaffirms the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, avoid actions that would escalate tensions, and peaceful resolutions of disputes in accordance with international law including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.