MANILA — Former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday hailed President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s call on China to “temper” its behavior in the West Philippine Sea amid reports that Beijing warned a Philippine military aircraft while flying over its man-made islands in the disputed region.
“We want to respectfully commend President Duterte on his recent remarks about China’s aggressive and unlawful behavior in the South China Sea. Nine out of ten Filipinos would be encouraged and inspired by this manifestation of our President’s positive leadership,” del Rosario said.
The former DFA chief was speaking at the “Challenge to a Rules-Based International System: Moving Forward” forum organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute in Taguig City.
A recent news report said the Chinese military can be heard ordering a Philippine military aircraft to “leave immediately” or else they will “bear responsibility for all the consequences.”
The Chinese military also reportedly issued a warning to a US military aircraft which conducted similar overflights over the South China Sea, with a media crew tagging along.
Duterte said that China should “rethink” of warning other countries from flying the airspace above the artificial island China built in the WPS.
Last Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there will be a probe into the incident. Joyce Ann Rocamora/PNA-northboundasia.com