With all the recent talk in the South China Sea, Malacañang has appealed for the public to unite to address the issue on the disputed waters.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement days after he revealed that there are ongoing talks between Filipino and Chinese firms on possible joint exploration in Service Contracts (SCs) 57 and 72.
Roque, in a press briefing in Palawan, said that President Duterte is not going to surrender to anybody.any island or territory that is being claimed by the Philippines .
“The President considers the West Philippine Sea and all the islands that we are currently occupying and lay claim to as part of the province of Palawan, with the exception, of course, of Scarborough which forms part of the province of Zambales,” Roque said Wednesday.
“The President has said that he will not surrender a single inch of Philippine territory to foreigners,” he added.
Duterte was slammed by critics after he said that he welcomes China’s proposal to conduct joint explorations in the disputed waters.
According to Roque, Duterte’s critics are the only ones who want to protect the country’s territory but said that the President has to think of the consequences if the country were to antagonize China.
“We appeal to the critics, we have to be united on this issue. Please do not claim to have the monopoly of upholding the national interest,” he said.