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Too early to ask US help on Spratlys dispute, P-Noy told
In The Press Posted on June 30th, 2011.
MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker today scored President Benigno Aquino III for seeking the support of the US in the Spratly Islands dispute without exhausting all diplomatic means with China.
“The Philippine Constitution is not at all ambiguous in asserting national sovereignty and an independent foreign policy. It is therefore highly inappropriate for the Aquino Administration to immediately seek the support of US on the Spratly claim dispute,” Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said in a statement.
De Jesus said the Aquino administration should exhaust “all means of dialogues and diplomacy” before asking the US to intervene in the territorial dispute.
Recently, Malacañang said that it can invoke its Mutual Defense Treaty with the US in case tension in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) worsens.
The statement came after the Philippines reported several incursions by Chinese military vessels in the disputed territory, including the harassment of Philippine ships involved in an oil exploration withint the territorial waters of the country. Several US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have assured that their government will support the Philippines in its dispute with China.
Other countries involved in the dispute are Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. De Jesus said that the Philippine government’s move to ask the US to intervene may “escalate regional tension” over the disputed territory.
By Angelo L. Gutierrez (philstar.com)