MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines does not see the need to withdraw its case before the international arbitral tribunal against China to move its relations with Beijing forward, Malacañang said yesterday.
At the same time, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a press briefing that the country would stick to the multilateral approach in resolving its territorial spat with China.
In Myanmar on Wednesday, President Aquino told reporters on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit there was no backtracking on Manila’s tack on the maritime issue even after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
“With respect to arbitration, I think (Foreign Affairs) Secretary (Albert) del Rosario mentioned and I think it’s a good description that, first of all, the relationship between China and Philippines is multifaceted,” Lacierda said.
“The relationship is not solely determined by our dispute with China on the South China Sea. How Secretary Del Rosario described arbitration is best described by the United Nations, where they say that arbitration is not an unfriendly act,” he said.