MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that President Aquino may raise the South China Sea issue during the bilateral meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.
The economic forum which supports the sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific Region, is scheduled in November this year.
“APEC is an economic forum and this (dispute) is basically political, and that’s the agreement in APEC,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a press briefing.
He added that there will be bilateral meetings where the President could raise the issues in the disputed territories in the South China Sea.
“Definitely there will be bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC summit,” Jose said.
“Of course there will be member economies requesting to have bilaterals with us and at the same time we would also be requesting to have bilateral meetings with certain member economies of APEC,” he added.
The Philippines has raised the issue on other meetings including the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The DFA, however clarified that the maritime dispute will not be raised in the APEC proper.