News Release

PBBM: Illegal, coercive, aggressive, deceptive actions in WPS continue to violate PH sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction

Despite existing international rules, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. disclosed at the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday that illegal actions continue to violate the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea.

“Illegal, coercive, aggressive, and deceptive actions continue to violate our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdictions. Attempts to apply domestic laws and regulations beyond one’s territory and jurisdiction violate international law, exacerbate tensions, and undermine regional peace and security,” President Marcos said.

The President did not mention any party or state behind the violations against the Philippines in his keynote message, the first for a Philippine leader before the Shangri-La Dialogue.

In his speech, the President said the Indo-Pacific region and the world cannot afford any other future for the South China Sea except the one envisioned by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is to ensure it as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity.

President Marcos, however, said that vision of the ASEAN remains unclear. “Unfortunately, this vision remains for now a distant reality,” he said.

Amid threats to international rules-based orders, President Marcos said the Philippines has remained and will remain committed to peace, upon which the country’s constitutional order is premised.

“We are committed to addressing and managing difficult issues through dialogue and through diplomacy,” the President said.

He said the Philippines will remain compliant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award that provided the country a strong foundation for the peaceful resolution and management of disputes in Philippine waters.

“Our policy in the South China Sea is built upon these two touchstones. We will continue to work with ASEAN and China towards an effective and substantive code of conduct, one that is firmly moored in UNCLOS,” the Chief Executive stated.

The Shangri-La Dialogue provides an open, inclusive and neutral platform for the exchange of perspectives and ideas on defense and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. It is commonly attended by defense ministers, permanent heads of ministries, and military chiefs of mostly Asia-Pacific states.

Previous keynote speakers include Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in 2022 and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in 2023. PND