GEN. SANTOS CITY — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Assistant Secretary Charles Jose disclosed that “war is not an option” in settling the issue on the West Philippine Sea being disputed between the Philippines and China.
ASec Jose made the disclosure during a media forum on the West Philippine Sea Issue sponsored recently by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) 12 in partnership with the Information Coordinating Network (ICON) 12, an organization of government information officers.
But Jose stressed that the Philippines will continue to assert its legitimate right over the disputed area and pointed out that China violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by encroaching inside the 200-kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines located at the West Philippine Sea.
“Physical structures construction such as buildings, light houses, landing strip and other facilities are currently being undertaken by China in the different shoals and atolls located in the country’s EEZ, which is a clear violation of the UNCLOS,” Jose added.
The Philippines sent an official delegation a few months ago at the International Court of Justice based at The Hague, Netherlands to assert our sovereign claim and present the case for arbitration vis-à-vis China’s historical claim over the disputed territory.
Jose added representatives of five other nations also attended as observers.
Recently, the UN decided that they have jurisdiction over the case in which China ignored and pushed for bilateral talks with the Philippines to settle the issue.
ASec Jose was accompanied by Emelyn Libunao, Staff Director of the Project Management Division of PIA Central Office.
Libunao informed the media that region 12 is the 11th region they have already visited to conduct the forum and that their office will distribute audio-visual and printed materials as part of the information-education campaign regarding the issue.
The West Philippine Sea forum ended with another multi-sectoral forum on October 29.