2017-08-10 11:43:37 UTC
Cayetano explained that the final joint communique this year was a result of compromise as some ASEAN member states wanted a "stronger" statement on the South China Sea while the others wanted a "weaker" one.
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"Whether the land reclamation [statement] was there or not and it is there, the reality on the ground is that people have stopped reclaiming and the reality on the ground is not it’s just not China who did reclamation," the Philippines' top diplomat said.
The Foreign Affairs secretary also said the Aquino administration framing the situation in the South China Sea as "Philippines versus China."
China not an enemy
Cayetano, on the other hand, said that the Philippines should not see China as its enemy.
"We are not pro-China, pro-US, pro-Japan, pro- whatever. We’re pro-Philippines and we’re pro-ASEAN and because we’re pro-ASEAN and we’re pro-Philippines, we are good friends to China, we are good friends to Japan, we are good friends to US and we will appreciate not being told what to do because we are a sovereign nation," he said.
The secretary added his position on the coominique was based on the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte. He stressed that the president never said that he is abandoning the arbitral ruling.
Adding certain language would only enable non-claimant nations to intrude themselves into peaceful resolution on the marine border issues. Philippine, like other nations, wants to develop its economic and it needs all its natural resources it could get as fast as possible.