PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Saturday said he doesn’t regard China as an “enemy” on the issue of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) but he maintained that the Chinese government should also give respect to our country’s claim in the WPS.
“Wala. Hindi ko naman sila kaaway. I cannot blame (Chinese President) Xi Jinping [for] thinking that the West Philippine Sea is theirs. But in the same manner, the kind of thinking, the kind of respect must be given to us. No, it’s also ours,” Moreno told veteran TV host Korina Sanchez during the “Upuan ng Katotohanan – The 2022 Presidentiable Special” segment on her weekly program Rated K aired on A2Z.
“In the meantime, we won in the Hague ruling and rules must be observed. Contracts and agreements must be recognized,” the 47-year-old presidential aspirant said.
Moreno made the remark when asked by Korina Sanchez if he is mad at China for claiming the West Philippine Sea.
Moreno had said that aside from being fearless in defending the country’s sovereignty in the WPS by asserting the Hague Ruling, there is an urgent need to build the country’s capacity to defend its waters in securing unimpeded access for small fisherfolk to abundant fishing grounds.
Investing and upgrading the country’s defense capabilities, according to Moreno, will also be on top of his agenda if he wins the presidency.
Moreno stressed that modernizing the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard will greatly improve the country’s lines of defense on its western seaboard, thus ensuring fishermen to fish freely and unhampered.
Moreno said through diplomatic means, his government will also continue to convince other countries to help the Philippines so that the Hague ruling will be observed and implemented properly.
To help fishermen earn more, Moreno is supporting the creation of a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) independent from the existing Department of Agriculture (DA).