Malacañang is inclined to support any action by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) against an animated movie that showed China’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo maintained that the Palace would defer to the DFA to deal with the issue even in the face of a potential backlash from China.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier suggested cutting the “offending” scene from the film “Abominable” that featured the controversial South China Sea map. Locsin said removing the scene would “show our displeasure better” than if it sought the ban of the movie.
The foreign affairs secretary also called for a boycott of all movies produced by Dreamworks, joint producer of “Abominable”.
“Hindi natin alam kung magkakaroon ng reaction sila dyan but ‘yun ang policy ng foreign affairs department natin at iyan ang susundin natin [We don’t know if they (China) will have reaction to that but that’s the policy of the foreign affairs department and we will follow that],” Panelo said in a radio interview.
The animated movie has reportedly been removed from local theaters amid the controversy generated by the scene on China’s nine-dash line claim over the disputed territory.
Some groups have called for the ban of the movie over the controversial map. Vietnam, which also has claims in the resource-rich waters, earlier imposed ban on the Abominable film.
The Hague-based court earlier ruled there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights in the South China Sea within the so-called nine-dash line. It said China breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines by building artificial islands, interfering with its fishing and oil projects. China, however, has rejected the tribunal decision, which stemmed from a complaint filed by the Aquino administration.
The Duterte administration has resorted to bilateral dialogue with China to manage the territorial dispute while pursuing closer economic and defense cooperation with the Asian giant.