BONG GO: Duterte will prioritize national interest inWest Philippine Sea dispute

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go assured the public that the country’s national interest and welfare of all Filipinos are the utmost priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte when it comes to the West Philippine Sea issue.

During ambush interviews after attending the launches of the 104th Malasakit Center at the Leyte Provincial Hospital and the 105th at the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital both in Palo, Leyte last Friday, April 30, Go said that President Duterte, being the chief architect of the country’s independent foreign policy, needs to continue working with international partners in addressing the ongoing pandemic while also securing the country’s interest in the West Philippine Sea.

Duterte, during his Talk to the People address on Wednesday night, said that the country would not go to war against China as the latter is a “good friend” but asserted that Filipino presence will remain in the West Philippine Sea despite demand of China.

Go also asserted that it is in the interest of all parties concerned to uphold the peaceful settlement of disputes, consistent with international law and relevant treaty obligations, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Responding to their criticisms on the government’s handling of the West Philippine Sea dispute, Go challenged retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario to patrol the sea themselves and face the Chinese coast guard.

Go said that their bickering will not undo the criminal neglect committed by the previous administration which resulted in China’s militarization of the West Philippine Sea.

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