Sea disputes remain Phl concern — Faustino

The Philippines maintained its stance to resolve the disputes over the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea through peaceful dialogue and diplomacy.

“Our next steps concerning the WPS and the SCS, Philippines underscores the importance of diplomacy and dialogue for peaceful resolution of these issues in SCS,” Department of the National Defense officer-in-charge, Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr., said at the Philippine Defense Leaders press briefing in Honolulu, Hawaii on Thursday, 29 September (United States time).

Faustino said the Philippines will continue to engage with China through a series of negotiations to settle the WPS/SCS dispute.

“This includes continuous engagement with China and both bilateral and multilateral platforms or multilateral dialogues without prejudice of course to the Philippines’ position in WPS to facilitate mutual trust and understanding,” he said.

The Philippines and several other littoral states are locked in a territorial dispute with China over SCS — claiming around 80 percent of the strategic waters.

“Admittedly the volatile situation in the SCS and WPS remains as the Philippines’ form of security concern and as it is right now, we continue to engage with like-minded countries and make sure that the rule of law and the rules based on an international order will prevail in the SCS,” Faustino said.

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