Marcos: PH didn’t cause ‘commotion’ in West Philippine Sea

PRAGUE—The Phliippines didn’t trigger the tension in the West Philippine Sea, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Friday.

At a news briefing with Filipino journalists, Marcos was asked to comment on China’s allegation that the Philippines was misleading the international community as regards the resource-rich South China Sea.

”Well I don’t know of any instance where the Philippines has instigated anything, at any point, both verbally, or militarily, or diplomatically. We were busy, we are busy, we have been busy in running the country and making the best life of Filipinos,” Marcos said.

”We did not begin all of these problems. All of these commotions were  not caused by the Philippines. So I don’t know what they are referring to,” he added.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin earlier said the Philippines should stop misleading the international community by using the South China Sea issue ”to instigate disputes, and counting on external forces to undermine peace and stability in the South SCS region.”

China claims most of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Parts of the waters within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone have been renamed as the West Philippine Sea.

In 2016, an international arbitration tribunal in the Hague said China’s claims had no legal basis.

However, Beijing has since refused to recognize the ruling and continued its aggression in the region.

Tensions between China and the Philippines increased recently as the two countries traded accusations such as alleged intrusion, shadowing, blocking, and performing dangerous maneuvers.

Chinese vessels have repeatedly harassed, trained water cannon, and made dangerous maneuvers against Filipino vessels in the West Philippine Sea.  —NB, GMA Integrated News

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