By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte will not give an inch of Philippine territory to any other state, Malacañang said, reacting to claims by China that the Philippines has been doing “illegal provocations” in the West Philippine Sea.
“Consistent naman po ang ating Presidente, he will not give even an inch of our national territory or sovereign rights to any other state,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a virtual presser Monday.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the Philippines of violating China’s sovereignty by sending its patrol aircraft to the Spratly Islands.
Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs filed a diplomatic protest to Beijing over the Chinese Coast Guard’s confiscation of equipment used by Filipino fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal (locally known as Bajo de Masinloc) last May.
Roque, however, stressed that the long-standing maritime territorial disputes won’t affect the country’s expanding economic ties with China.
“Hindi po magiging dahilan itong unresolved issue sa ating teritoryo bilang hadlang para isulong sa ating diplomatic bilateral relations with China ‘yung mga bagay na pupwede namang isulong, gaya po ng kalakal at investments,” he added.