Arroyo on Duterte with South China Sea dispute: “He knows what he’s doing.”

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would not advise President Rodrigo Duterte on his handling of the maritime dispute with China, confident that the latter “knows what he’s doing.”
In a rare press conference, Arroyo said she would not dare make any recommendation to Duterte as she does not have all the information in the President’s hands. She also accused her successor of provoking China and triggering the latter’s island building frenzy in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea.
“I can only share what happened in my administration. I do not know all the facts that are available to the current administration, so I do not dare to make any recommendations and I keep that attitude because of my own experience as President,” Arroyo said.
The last straw, she said, was the Aquino administration’s contesting China’s massive nine-dash line claim before the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague.
“Built during the previous administration!” a smiling Arroyo repeatedly told reporters, referring to artificial island fortresses built by the Chinese in waters within Philippine territory.
During her time, she said, several made recommendations on how to handle the dispute even if they did not have full knowledge of the facts on the ground.
“As far as I’m concerned, President Duterte knows what he is doing, and I do not have any specific recommendations to make,” she added.
It was under Arroyo’s presidency when Republic Act No. 9522, the Amended Definitions of the Archipelagic Baseline of the Philippines, was enacted, declaring Philippine ‘sovereignty and jurisdiction’ over Scarborough Shoal.
The shoal, traditional fishing grounds for Filipinos just off Masinloc, Zambales, saw tension between the Philippines and the Chinese in 2012 after Beijing cordoned off the area.
Filipino fishermen have been able to enter the shoal again amid a turnaround in Philippine-Chinese ties since President Duterte assumed power.
While she wouldn’t meddle in Duterte’s strategy on the dispute, Arroyo recommended that the National Security Council focus on economic ties with China.
Earlier this month, Duterte ordered troops to occupy uninhabited islets and shoals that the Philippines claims in the Spratly Islands.
He also aired plans to go to the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island in the Spratlys on Independence Day to raise the flag there but later retracted his statement.
“I would like to correct myself along the way dito. I said I will go to the island of Kalayaan, Pag-asa on June 12 to raise the Filipino flag there,” Duterte said in a meeting with the Filipino community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he is in a two-day state visit.
“If every heads of state of the contending parties around the West Philippine Sea will go there to plant their flags, there will likely be trouble. Because of our friendship with China, I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag,” Duterte said.
Scarborough Shoal, also known as Huangyan Dao Bajo de Masinloc, or Panatag Shoal  is a shoal located between the Macclesfield Bank and Luzon island in South China Sea. It was a trending and long time story or should we say argument between the Philippines and China.
Remember, the Manila hostage crisis, officially known as the Rizal Park hostage-taking incident, occurred when a disgruntled former Philippine National Police officer named Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus in Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines on August 23, 2010. The bus carried 25 people: 20 tourists, a tour guide from Hong Kong, and four local Filipinos. Mendoza claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed from his job, and demanded a fair hearing to defend himself.
Most probably, China and the Philippines is made to create a history in the world. Since China colonize Philippines and let’s see what will ne the next move of President Rodrigo Duterte on this long time issue.
Source: News/ ABSCBN



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