Philippine sovereignty ‘non-negotiable’

April 11, 2019
Salvador Panelo
Salvador Panelo

PHILIPPINE sovereignty is “non-negotiable,” Malacañang yesterday said, amid the presence of Chinese vessels, suspected of being maritime militia, in the West Philippine Sea.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued this strong statement after Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. said he “fired off a salvo of diplomatic notes” against China in March.

“They have to respond to our protest,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing, adding that the government was expecting China to respond within days.

In an ambush interview, Panelo later said the government was just being “diplomatic about everything” when asked about the country’s friendly stance with China.

“We are just reciprocating the courtesy. We are diplomatic about everything,” he said, citing the aid extended by China to the Philippines, including providing rifles to the government during the Marawi siege and building a rehabilitation center in Agusan del Sur.