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Not guilty on inaction! PH protests filed vs China’s incursions in WPS – Palace

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Malaca​ñ​ang on Monday disputed the public perception that the government has not been doing anything against China’s intrusions in the West Philippine Sea.

“Wala pong government inaction na tinatawag. Kada meron pong ginagawa ang Tsina na labag sa ating soberenya, tayo po ay nagpo-protesta, pero ginagawa po natin iyan sa tahimik. So, hindi po totoo na ang Pangulong Duterte ay walang ginagawa,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said​.

Instead of asking the people if they think that the Duterte administration is “doing nothing” against China’s offensive moves, Roque said the public should stand united against such underhanded tactics against the Philippines in the disputed territories.

“Kaya iyong sinasabi ko, dapat wag silang mag-approve sa inaction, kasi nag 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.

The Palace official said there ​was ​no existing policy under the Duterte administration against China’s continuing buildup of infrastructure and military presence in some of their occupied territories.

In the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, it showed that four out of five Filipinos reject the Duterte administration’s policy of doing nothing about China’s intrusions in the West Philippine Sea.

This despite winning the case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) against China’s “nine-dash line” claim in the West Philippine Sea and in which the Philippines was decided to have exclusive sovereign rights over the said area.

In its survey conducted last June 20 to 30, 81 percent of the 1,200 adult respondents nationwide said the government should not leave China alone with its infrastructure and military presence in the Philippine-claimed territories.

Eighty percent supported the government in strengthening the military capability especially the Philippine Navy.

While 74 percent of those surveyed said the government should bring the issue to international organizations for the diplomatic and peaceful negotiation of the disputed areas, 73 percent agree that there should have direct and bilateral negotiations to discuss the resolution of the issue.

“Aba’y dapat po 100% ng Filipino ay tumutol diyan, dahil tayo talaga ay hindi papayag na ang ating teritoryo ay angkinin ng ibang estado,” said Roque.

The fact is that the President, Roque said, has been consistent in saying that he will not give up or relinquish the Philippines’ claims to the South China Sea or any part of the country’s sovereign territory.

“Dahil ang katotohanan, wala pong tigil sa paglalaban sa interest ng Pilipinas ang gobyerno ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte. (What is true here is that there is no let-up in fighting for the interest of the Philippines under government of President Rodrigo Duterte,” said Roque.

The Palace official echoed the Duterte’s previous statements on the issue on the Philippines going to war against the economic superpower in asserting its rights over the disputed territories knowing full well that militarily, the government can be overcome easily.

The President has been taking a conciliatory approach in dealing with China by setting aside for the meantime some of the issues that cannot be easily or readily resolved and prioritize those that can be resolved on the basis of friendly relations.

“If we could pursue economic gains, then we should. We agree with the sentiments of the people,” said Roque.