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PH does not need China’s consent in declaring WPS island as marine protected areas: Palace

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte is keen on declaring some islands in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as marine protected areas (MPAs) and will no longer need China’s consent, his spokesman said.

This, after National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said that the Philippines may declare Pag-asa and the eastern part of the Kalayaan Island Group as MPAs.

“As far as we are concerned that’s ours. You don’t have to ask any consent,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in Monday’s press briefing.

Declaring an area as an MPA would only allow limited scientific research on them.

Panelo, on one hand, contradicted his own statement when he said that the Philippines and China will return to bilateral negotiations if the latter will insist on ownership of the WPS.

“Eh di magne-negotiate tayo. Babalik tayo sa negotiation. That will be another irritant ang mangyayari niyan. If u declare a particular stand and they will declare another stand, eh di may deadlock. O di maguusap naman tayo,” he added.

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