Security exec: Gov’t to exhaust all diplomatic solutions in WPS row

April 1, 2024 People's Journal 96 views

THE Philippine government will exhaust all diplomatic means to prevent conflict due to the West Philippine Sea (WPS) row, an official of the National Security Council (NSC) said yesterday.

“The proportionate, deliberate and reasonable response that the President was talking about covered not only the aspect of strengthening our military or our defense capabilities together with other allies, partners and friends but it also talks about exhausting diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing.

President Marcos on March 25 signed Executive Order (EO) 57, creating the National Maritime Council (NMC) to strengthen the Philippines’ maritime security and increase maritime domain awareness among Filipinos amid China’s aggressive tactics and threats in the WPS.

Marcos emphasized the need to strengthen maritime security and raise awareness on the maritime domain amid “a range of serious challenges that threaten not only the country’s territorial integrity, but also the peaceful existence of Filipinos.”

“Strengthening the country’s maritime security and domain awareness is imperative to comprehensively tackle the crosscutting issues that impact the nation’s national security, sovereignty, sovereign rights, and maritime jurisdiction over its extensive maritime zones,” he said.

Malaya said war is not in the interest of the Philippines, China, the United States or any of the country’s allies and partners.

“So given that, hahanapan natin ng diplomatikong solusyon itong mga problemang ito as (so given that, we will have to find a diplomatic solution for these problems as) part of the package of counter measures and responses that the President spoke about,” he noted.

He said the Philippines is ready to defend its maritime rights and entitlements in the WPS and other parts of the archipelago.

“That is why the President has strengthened (the) maritime domain awareness and maritime security across the entire Philippines, hindi na lang nakatutok sa WPS,” he added. Philippine News Agency