Cayetano: Diplomatic action being taken vs South China Sea militarization
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday assured the public that diplomatic action was being undertaken regarding China's militarization in South China Sea.
"I will tell you that there is diplomatic action being taken. We are not in the habit, in this administration, we don't tell the specific of every move (we're taking) because we look at the overall relationship," Cayetano said in a radio interview.
Not because the government was not announcing that it was filing protest or note verbale or bringing up the issue in the bilateral consultative mechanism with China, he said it did not mean that the administration was not doing anything.
He even assured Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that the administration is "protecting every single square inch" of the country's territory and sovereignty.
Carpio said the Philippines should protest and stop being silent on China's militarization in the South China Sea.
Cayetano insisted that the government was not ignoring the latest report that China has installed missile systems in three of its occupied artificial islands in the disputed waters.
"What we are saying is, this can't be resolved by the Philippines and China only. It should be all the claimants. When you shout at each other, you're not listening with each other but when you sit down and talk, you're listening," he said.
He also said the Code of Conduct of parties in South China Sea should be resolved so that all the issues regarding the territorial dispute will be addressed.
Aside from the Philippines and China, other claimants in the South China Sea are Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Reports said that China installed missile systems in the Philippine-claimed Panganiban, Zamora and Kagitingan reefs in the South China Sea, but the government was still verifying the report. Ella Dionisio/DMS