MANILA—A Malacanang official denied on Sunday China’s allegation that the United States is intervening in the arbitration case filed by the Philippines against China over the disputed West Philippine Sea (WPS) or South China Sea.
”In our view, we have no proof to that kind of allegation,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview with state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
He explained that the US’ participation in the international meetings such as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and US-ASEAN Special Summit was just declaration of support for rules-based and peaceful resolutions of the disputes on maritime entitlements in the WPS.
”In all occasions, we have witnessed the US have joined other countries in upholding the principles of freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight,” Coloma said.
On China’s claims that the international arbitral tribunal is bias in favor of the Philippines, Coloma said the Philippines is just adhering to the rule of law as embodied in the United Nations on Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
”Adherence to the rule of law as embodied in the United Nations on Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has always been the linchpin of Philippine policy,” Coloma said.
He also said that President Benigno Aquino III “has been determined in pursuing an advocacy for a rules-based, peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the disputes.”
”It has gained broad-based support in the international community such as the ASEAN, APEC, Group of Seven or G7, and in the European Union,” he added.
Coloma said the advocacy has brought to light the critical importance of upholding freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight and has been the basis for the Philippines’ decision to file a petition with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
”This move of the Philippines has been welcomed and encouraged by many nations,” he added.