I stand with the President, that is to :"defend what is rightfully ours without going to war and maintain the peace in the seas - Lorenzana"

I stand with the President, that is to :"defend what is rightfully ours without going to war and maintain the peace in the seas - Lorenzana"


Once and for all the quash all rumors that the Duterte government is not solid in its stand as against the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue.

Department of National Defense(DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenza has dismissed categorically  the claims being propagated in the media that his recent statements as regards the Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea are not aligned with those of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

In a prepared statement he gave to reporters, the DND Sec. said that the President’s orders to the defense department regarding the WPS have been very "firm and straightforward" and that is to defend the country's possessions without going to war.

(photo credit to owner)

"President Duterte’s orders to us have been very firm and straightforward: defend what is rightfully ours without going to war and maintain the peace in the seas. Yung nagsasabi na hindi kami align ng Presidente (those saying that our statements are not aligned with the President). let me clarify that my pronouncements echo the stand of our President and Commander-in-Chief," Lorenzana added.

As part of both countries long standing and multi-faceted relationship, the DND Sec. said both nations maintain cooperation in various area that are mutually beneficial to the Filipino and Chinese people.

"We can be cordial and cooperative with other nations but not at the expense of our sovereignty and sovereign rights," he added.

Lorenzana said he is mindful of the far superior military capabilities of China abut does not deter them to defend the country’s national interest and dignity as a people, with the resources we have.

"Thus, the conduct of maritime patrol in the WPS and Kalayaan Island Group by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will continue. The government will not waiver in its position. Walang alisan (There is no leaving)," he added

He reiterates that, the latest developments have made it clear that there is a need for all stakeholders to cooperate.

"They can now take this as an opportunity to advance the values and principles we collectively affirm and profess to respect - including the peaceful settlement of disputes - as partners and as signatories to UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea) and all relevant international instruments," he said.

Earlier, the DND Chief said China has no legal basis to prevent the Philippines from conducting maritime exercises in the WPS.

"They have no authority or legal basis to prevent us from conducting these exercises within the WPS. Atin yan (That is ours)," he said.





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