The Philippines is ready to defend its stance on the Spratlys dispute even though China reportedly accused Filipino authorities of lacking a sincere desire to resolve West Philippine Sea territorial disputes.
“We maintained that what is ours is ours and are prepared to validate our position in accordance with international law, specifically UNCLOS [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea],” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.
He also maintained that the Philippines is committed to a rules-based regime and to a peaceful resolution to the issue of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The ruling Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily reported that the recent construction work by Philippine troops on Spratlys violates the spirit of a preliminary agreement reached last month to resolve disputes in the West Philippine Sea.
It only means that Manila had merely been putting on “a little show,” the said, adding that China won’t sit nonchalantly by while its territory is swallowed up by others.
The Spratlys — a group of islets in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits — are being claimed in whole or in part by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. — JE, GMA News