India is siding with the Philippines in asserting its sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Senator Francis Tolentino said Thursday.
“Another big country has agreed to join us and sided with us in what we’re fighting for… The name of the country is India,” Tolentino said in a press conference.
“It has not yet reached the level of intention where they will have joint patrol, but they are siding with us because they believe that what we are doing is correct,” he added.
In June, Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo met with his Indian counterpart Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi for the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC). In a joint statement posted by India’s External Affairs Ministry, during their meeting the two stressed the need for “adherence to international law,” including UNCLOS and the 2016 arbitral ruling on the South China Sea.
Tolentino said that India is “with us” in the Philippines’ international diplomatic efforts.
“Remember, India is the country where we lean heavily in importing rice. ‘Di ba? Kung sa West Philippine Sea gusto tayong tulungan, siguro tutulungan din tayo sa bigas. Pagdugtong-dugtugin niyo na ‘yon,” the Senate committee on foreign relations vice chairperson said.
“Marami ang India na kakayahan even sa… pharmaceutical, lalo na sa defense. Hindi ko pa madagdagan kasi maliit lang yung alam ko,” he added. — BM, GMA Integrated News