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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Vietnam laudes Duterte on how he handled South China Sea issue

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has mentioned that he laudes the position of the Philippines in the issue of the West Philippine or South China Sea.

He added that this happened during the bilateral meeting of Duterte with the Vietnamese prime minister during the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore.

Ang sabi po ng Vietnam, hinahangaan po nila ang naging posisyon ng Pilipinas pagdating sa China sa usapin ng West Philippine Sea. At dahil diyan magkakaroon ng mas madaming kooperasyon sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at ng Vietnam tungkol nga dito sa West Philippine Sea,” said Roque.


We [Vietnam] will learn from his [President Duterte’s] handling of China. The President handled China very well,” Roque said quoting Nguyen.

Roque added that Vietnam is asking the Philippines to support them in their filing for a joint submission with Malaysia for an extended continental shelf in the South China Sea.

But if I understand correctly, the Prime Minister of Vietnam was lobbying even for other countries to support that submission because it would have substantial ramification. Although, of course, China is opposing it,” he added.


Roque also said that President Duterte has informed Nguyen that he will study on how the Philippines can help Vietnam in their own struggle in the issue of the South China Sea.

He added that even with this, he doubts that China will react violently on the position Duterte took with Vietnam. He says that the ASEAN and China should come up with a code of conduct pn the South China Sea, emphasizing that ASEAN should have a louder voice than China.



I don’t think so because they [China and Vietnam] have their own bilateral discussions ongoing. In fact they even have joint patrols already over disputed waters. We haven’t actually signed a joint development with China, we already have. Joint exploration at least,” he said.


Roque added that Duterte is not ignoring the arbitral ruling awarded by the Hague to the Philippines.

The President just wanted it very clear that we are not abandoning, we are not ignoring, we are not setting aside the arbitral tribunal decision which is in our favor and that he will deal with that arbitral award in due course. But now is not the right time,” he said.

He made it very clear to a head of state that he recognizes the gains of the arbitral award and that he will refer to the arbitral award in due course because he wants the totality of the West Philippine Sea controversy settled under the rule of law and pursuant to the binding norms of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea,” he added.


Roque said that he hopes that critic will stop saying that Duterte has abandon the Philippine’s claim. 

I hope Justice [Antonio] Carpio and all the critics of President Duterte will now keep quiet because this is now a statement of the Philippine President made to a head of state—that he has not abandoned, he is not reneging, he is not relinquishing, he is not in any way ignoring the arbitration and considers it as a binding arbitral decision in favor of the Philippines,” Roque said.

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Source: MB

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