MANILA, Philippines – It will be up to China to interpret the ongoing talks on enhancing military cooperation between the Philippines and the United States, Malacanang said yesterday.
“Let China interpret that… We don’t need to send a message. The medium is the message,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said when asked if the government was trying to send a message to China with the negotiations on enhanced military partnership with the US.
The negotiations are being held amid China’s growing aggressiveness in staking its claims in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Recently, Chinese vessels drove away a Filipino ship carrying supplies to a small detachment of Marines stationed on a grounded World War II landing ship on Ayungin Shoal.
Lacierda said the arrangement being worked out with the US would help the country improve its defense capabilities.
He stressed any new agreement would be in accordance with the Constitution and Philippine laws.