‘Wag padalos-dalos! Duterte warns claimants in South China Sea against adventurism
By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged nations to avoid making the South China Sea a platform for “adventurism” as he cited the need to maintain peace and stability in the region.
“The President reaffirmed the need to maintain and promote peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea and stressed the need to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation,” a Palace statement released on Sunday read.
During the recently concluded 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Singapore, Duterte warned that any “aggressive” moves in the disputed sea could worsen and mount tensions among rival countries.
The President also reaffirmed the committment shared by ASEAN member states and China to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea
As country coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations until 2021, Duterte also ensured an early conclusion of a code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea.
The Code of Conduct is a legally binding agreement that aims to manage maritime and territorial disputes in the region over the past two decades.
Aside from China and the Philippines, four other countries have claims in the South China Sea. They are Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.