News Release

Do not fall prey to China’s diversionary tactics, security officials warn

Filipinos should not be swayed by China’s diversionary tactics of sowing division and confusion over the issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea, National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Año said on Saturday.

In a statement, Año said the Filipino people should stand their ground and hold the line in upholding the country’s sovereignty amid all the noise generated by the Chinese and its supporters as far as the WPS is concerned.

“We call on all Filipinos to stand their ground and push back against these maligned and corrosive narratives that seek to undermine the national interest,” Secretary Año said in a statement delivered by National Security Council Assistant Director Jonathan Malaya.

“We should not fall into a trap, which clearly shows and seeks to sow division in our country and weaken our resolve in asserting our sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea,” Secretary Año added.

Addressing the supposed “secret agreement” between former president Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Secretary Año said this has been used “to create distractions, divisions and conflict” among the Filipino people.

Año reiterated President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has said the administration is not aware of any secret or gentleman’s agreement, and if there was such, it will be “rescinded.”

Año said that such agreement, if it exists, tends to compromise the national interest and degrade the Constitution. He said it is the responsibility of the previous administration to explain to the Filipino people about such agreement.

“Moreover, any such agreement, if proven to be true, is inimical to the national interest and the Constitution. If there is such agreement, it is the responsibility of those responsible for it to explain it before the Filipino people. But it is not and will never be binding upon this administration,” he quipped.

For his part, Malaya said these issues are nothing but diversionary tactics by the Chinese government so that the attention of the public will no longer be focused on the issues in the WPS and become divisive, eventually weakening the country’s resolve.

“Obviously, itong mga ganitong statement ‘no, has the purpose of pagsabungin iyong ating mga leaders at pagsabungin iyong ating mga kababayan,” Malaya told reporters in a weekly news forum in Quezon City, referring to China’s tactics against the Philippines.

“Ultimately the objective of all of these propaganda narratives coming from both Beijing and the Chinese Embassy is to create cracks and division among the Filipino people – and kapag may cracks and division na, that will weaken the resolve of our government,” he added.

Malaya also downplayed the alleged “intimate understanding” between the Philippines and China that the present administration tends to ignore, saying that “nothing more than a new invention” and emphasized that President Marcos will continue to assert the country’s sovereignty in the WPS within the bounds of international law. PND