PH Palace firm on moratorium on construction projects in West Philippine Sea
The Philippine government will continue to push for a moratorium on any construction in disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Tuesday in a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Ang ating posisyon dito ay malinaw. Unang-una, nais nating pairalin ang moratorium sa lahat ng lugar na sakop ng maritime entitlement claims; ikalawa, buuin ang Code of Conduct na dapat pairalin; at ikatlo, isulong ang proseso sa UN arbitral tribunal,” Coloma was reported as saying.
(Our position is clear. First, we want to enforce the moratorium on all areas covered by maritime entitlement claims; second, to develop the South China Sea Code of Conduct; and third, to promote the arbitral tribunal to the UN process).
He said the Philippines has earned the support of other claimant countries in the Southeast Asian Region.
“Sa lahat ng mga aksyon na iyan, umaani tayo ng suporta at pagkilala ng katuwiran ng ating posisyon mula sa iba’t ibang bansa sa daigdig. Ang pinakahuling natanggap nating ulat ay ang pagpapahayag ng suporta ng Brunei, Vietnam at Indonesia sa posisyon ng Pilipinas, ayon sa Department of Foreign Affairs,” Coloma added.
(With all that action, we reap the support and recognition of the righteousness of our position from different countries in the world. The latest reports from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that we have received the support of Brunei, Vietnam and Indonesia).
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines has filed a memorial at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) against China, which has been carrying out construction projects at the disputed Spratly Islands.
China, through its Foreign Ministry, has rejected the Philippines’ proposal to freeze reclamation projects in the area, which is being claimed by several countries.
Commenting on China’s reaction, Secretary Coloma said that the Philippines’ commitment to their position was based on “fair and rational” arguments, and there is no reason to dismiss it.