MANILA – Amid tensions among claimant countries in the disputed maritime territories in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang clarified yesterday that President Aquino and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not discuss collective self-defense during their meeting last week.
The two leaders, instead, talked about how the Philippines are handling the situation in the disputed territories, according to presidential spokesman, Edwin Lacierda.
“President Aquino mentioned the three-tiered approach of the Philippines: the immediate, intermediate and the final approaches… It spells out how the Philippines…(is) resorting to international mechanisms,” he said.
“At the same time, Japan also mentioned the importance of the rule of law. So both parties, both countries, agree on the primacy of the rule of law in promoting peace and stability in the South China Sea,” he added.
On Tuesday, Japan made a major decision of revision on its pacifist postwar defense policy allowing their country to defend friends and allies under attack.
As a response, the Philippines has expressed their support for Japan’s decisive move to revise its constitution and refine it to conform it the present global security situations.
“I think everyone who has a stake in regional stability would certainly support any action that would move towards promoting peace in the region,” Lacierda said.
“Clearly, our belief is that Japan, by revisiting its Constitution, enables it to meet its international obligations, that is – in the case of the South China Sea issue – to promote and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs also supports Japan’s move to revise its constitution saying it was a “step in the right direction.”
“The Japanese government has recognized the need for the international community to address such challenges and the effort to clarify the constitutional basis for Japan’s role in this area is a step in the right direction,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose told reporters.
6. China wants more investment, tourists in Phl
MANILA – Despite the controversial rift between China and the Philippines, a Chinese Ambassador said, China still wants more investments and tourists in the Philippines.
“I should point out that China’s investments to the Philippines have not been satisfactory so we hope that we can invest more,” Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said at a welcome dinner hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) on Tuesday.
Zhao mentioned China’s intentions of encouraging more investments in the energy projects to halp the Philippines cut its power costs.
The Philippines has the highest power cost in the Southeast Asian region.
The Ambassador also reiterated China’s interest in engaging in the country’s manufacturing industry which is among the country’s list of top potential areas for global investments.
“There is good opportunity for Philippine side to receive some of good quality manufacturing investments, say food processing, manufacturing of minerals. These are the things we can do in the near future,” Zhao said.
Zhao also said he is looking forward to investing more in the country as the Philippines also has shown significant interest in investing in China.
“You’ll be surprised that the Philippines is investing more in China than what China is investing in the Philippines,” he said.
Despite the territorial disputes where both the countries are involved, Zhao said it is about time that both the countries should focus on something that will bring unity and cooperation.
“I think it is imperative and essential that the two countries focus on things that can unite us, focus on things that can promote common prosperity for both countries and can contribute to improvement of the livelihood of our people,” he said