Lorenzana sees ‘lower tension’ in West Philippine Sea until Duterte ends term


MANILA, Philippines — Tension between the Philippines and China on the West Philippine Sea would be lower in the final half of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

“I think there will be lower tension. I think everybody understands already what’s the role there, we already talked,” Lorenzana said in an interview with Winnie Monsod over GMA News TV’s “Bawal ang Pasaway” earlier this week.

The Duterte administration has been holding a bilateral consultation mechanism with China instead of invoking a July 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated Beijing’s nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.

Lorenzana said he was satisfied with the situation in the area as China has not claimed new territories during the term of Duterte.

“Considering everything I think I’m happy with that… What we can achieve is to lower the tension there. No misunderstanding, no miscalculations between troops so there would be no trouble,” the Defense chief said.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/01/18/1886174/lorenzana-sees-lower-tension-west-philippine-sea-until-duterte-ends-term#3WDErHwK5KpC88au.99