Wednesday, June 15, 2011
BALER, Aurora June 16, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara, vice chairman of the Senate committee on foreign relations urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the urgent creation for a diplomat team and train them to articulate in advance regarding the Philippines' interests in international negotiations through the Association of South East Asian Nations and the United Nations, saying that a diplomatic team that will negotiate with other claimant countries and China is the key for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the disputed Spratly Islands.
“This specialized team should possess the diplomatic and strategic skills, training and knowledge required to successfully negotiate through a dispute of this magnitude and follow through until it is concluded,” Angara said.
Angara advised that we must not let what happened to Sabah to the Spratly Islands. “We lost it because no one followed up on it after the administration changed,” he said.
“The Philippines lacks the military capability to match China's show of naval power in the disputed sea but should not make the government any less assertive in protecting its territorial claims,” Angara observed, explaining that it is obvious from China’s continued aggressive behavior and presence that it has enormous economic interest in the Spratly Islands so do Vietnam and other claimant countries.
“This brash display of power is undeserved,” Angara said; thus, there is a need for a forum where we can air our protests and resolve our differences diplomatically as this is the only recourse we have.
“The issue involves more than the Philippines and China. The resolution to this dispute cannot be unilateral. We must seek the help of our allies in the region, primarily the ASEAN to help us resolve this conflict once and for all,” Angara said.
Earlier, a Chinese vessel harassed a Philippine vessel conducting seismic surveys along the Recto (Reed) Bank, which is 80 nautical miles off Palawan and clearly within the 200-nautical-mile national territory defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea where the government claimed that China has encroached into Philippine territory at least six times, including one in March as reported by the Philippine Coast Guard. (Jason de Asis)
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this blog do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of "THE CATHOLIC MEDIA NETWORK NEWS ONLINE".