The administration is “not guilty” of inaction in addressing the country’s dispute with China in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang insisted yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque assured the public that the government continues to defend and protect the country’s interests in the West Philippine Sea, citing the filing of protests against China’s actions in the contested territory.
Roque issued the remarks after a survey indicated that majority of Filipinos believed that it was not right for the government do nothing about China’s intrusion in the contested territory.
“Dapat huwag silang mag-approve sa inaction kasi ang katunayan po ay hindi po guilty ang gobyerno ni Presidente Duterte ng inaction, hindi lang po tayo maingay, pero meron po tayong action kaagad kapag ang tingin natin ay may ginagawa ang Tsina na nalalabag ang ating soberenya at mga karapatan ng soberenya,” Roque said in a radio interview.
“Yung persepsiyon na dapat aktibo na pinaglalaban ang interest ng Pilipinas, tama po iyon. Dahil ang katotohanan, wala pong tigil sa paglalaban sa interest ng Pilipinas ang gobyerno ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte,” he added.
Roque agreed that Filipinos must reject any government inaction in dealing with the South China Sea conflict.
“Dapat po 100 percent ng Filipino ay tumutol diyan, dahil tayo talaga ay hindi papayag na ang ating teritoryo ay angkinin ng ibang estado,” he said.
Roque maintained that Duterte has repeatedly declared he would not surrender an inch of the country’s territory amid a conflict with China.
Even as protests were filed quietly against China, Roque explained Duterte chose not to go to war with China since nothing good would come out of the use of force. The government instead has chosen to pursue other areas of cooperation such as trade and investments with the Asian neighbor. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)