News Release

PH willing to work with China to resolve dispute — Bersamin

The Philippines is not elevating to a higher international body the latest Ayungin Shoal incident, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said on Friday, as he expressed the country’s willingness to work with China to resolve the dispute.

Bersamin made the remarks during a Palace press briefing when asked if the government is considering bringing the matter to a global body.

“That’s not yet in consideration because I think this is a matter that can easily be resolved very soon by us. And if China wants to work with us, we can work with China,” he told reporters.

The Palace official, who chairs the National Maritime Council (NMC), said the body did not discuss the invocation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) during its second meeting on Friday.

However, the NMC announced it recommended to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for the continuation of routinary and regular rotation and reprovision (RORE) missions to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal despite China’s provocative actions. He said announcement for RORE missions will be made before they are conducted.

The Philippine government also did not consider the incident as an armed attack, Bersamin said, adding that it may be “a misunderstanding or an accident.”

It was reported that eight Filipino servicemen were injured during the June 17 hostile incident. But the NMC clarified that only one was hurt.

The Council recognizes a peaceful, stable, and prosperous West Philippine Sea (WPS) and South China Sea (SCS) is still a distant reality, Bersamin said, He said the Council agreed on policy recommendations for President Marcos’ consideration. |PND