Pres. Duterte stands By SND Lorenzana’s Remark On Julian Felipe Reef against China

Pres. Duterte stands By SND Lorenzana’s Remark On Julian Felipe Reef against China


Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is standing by his National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, when the latter made a strong statement regarding the Chinese militias presence in the West Philippine Sea(WPS.)

Lorenzana has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the remaining 44 vessels from the Julian Felipe Reef in the WPS, saying they have no reason to take shelter in the area since clear and good weather is what is now prevailing in the area.

Secretary Lorenzana said “the Chinese Ambassador has a lot of explaining to do. As of our latest maritime and aerial surveillance, there are still forty-four (44) Chinese vessels that are in Julian Felipe Reef. I am no fool. The weather has been good so far, so they have no other reason to stay there. These vessels should be on their way out. Umalis na kayo diyan.”

(photo credit to owner)

The response of the Chinese embassy in Manila called out Sec. Lrenzana’s remark as “unprofessional”, maintaining its historical claim over the feature which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Of course, the President stands by the statements of our Secretary of Defense,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

Roque, however, pointed out that the presence of Chinese ships in the area would not lead to war.

“I hasten to add that the President has been clear that this is not an issue that will lead to war between friendly nations. We are hoping that our friendly relations will soon resolve this latest impasse,” he added.

“Hindi po nagbabago ang posisyon ng ating Presidente. Eto po yung kanyang nabanggit na salita sa UN General Assembly. Hindi po natin isasakripisyo, hindi natin ipamimigay ang ating national territory at ang ating mga exclusive economic zone (The President’s position has not changed. He mentioned this during his speech at the UN General Assembly. We will not sacrifice or give away our national territory and EEZ),” he said.

Roque said Duterte also believes that friendly relations between the Philippines and China will result in the peaceful resolution of this impasse.

“Ang posisyon po ng Presidente, paninindigan natin ang ating karapatan pero hindi po to isang bagay para tayo po ay gumamit ng dahas. Kampante po ang ating Presidente na dahil nga po mero tayong malapit na pagkakaibigan mareresolba ang hidwaan na ‘to (The President’s position is that we will fight for our rights, but this is no reason for us to use force. Our President is confident that our strong ties would resolve this impasse),” he added.

He also reiterated support for Lorenza’s demand for Chinese vessels to leave the Julian Felipe Reef.

“I think Secretary Lorenzana was correct in pointing out that we consider that area as part also of Philippine territory and exclusive economic zone,” he said.



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