Palace cites developments in position to defend West PHL Sea

February 7, 2014 6:29 am 

MANILA, Feb. 6 — Malacanang on Thursday noted that developments have been observed since the Philippines began defending sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., in a Palace briefing, said that one of these developments was through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The voices of the members of ASEAN have been heard and they have said that they would want to flesh out the document on the Code of Conduct on the Law of the Sea,” Coloma said.

According to him, the document has been dormant for more than a decade until the Philippines asserted its position that the document should be the guide for all actions.

Coloma further said that the Philippines also observed the acceptance by member-countries of the need for an "ASEAN-centric" position which was manifested in the joint statement following the ASEAN-Japan Summit in December.

“This was the document that they released after meeting in Tokyo in December 2013 where they expressed solidarity on the principles of freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation, and promoting the rule of law," he said.

“All things considered, our advocacy of rules-based approach and respect for the rule of law has gained credence, has gained support from the region, and has also been affirmed by other countries such as the US and Japan that are not members of ASEAN,” he added. (PNA)



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