PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said the Philippines has no intention to provoke a military confrontation with China, after challenging its claims over the West Philippine Sea in a formal pleading before the United Nations tribunal in The Hague.
“We are not here to challenge China or to provoke them into any action. But I do believe that they should recognize that we have the right to defend our own interests,” Aquino said.
The President said he is duty-bound under the Constitution to defend the country’s territory.
“I subscribed to this oath when I assumed office. I have to defend national territory and our sovereignty,” he said.
Aquino said the arbitration before the UN tribunal in The Hague is part of “peaceful and rules-based” efforts to resolve the territorial dispute.
“We went through arbitration primarily because that is a means to resolve the dispute consistent with the policy of seeking peaceful resolution and in conformity with the international law,” he said.
The President also commended the successful delivery of supplies to the Philippine Marines stationed on Ayungin Shoal over the weekend following a standoff with the Chinese coastguard.
Read more: http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/04/01/pnoy-we-provoke-not/