DEFENSE SECRETARY OVERRULES HOTHEAD SENATOR ON SPRATLY ISSUE
by Napanice (no login)
WHAT MIRIAM SANTIAGO HAS DONE BY DEMONSTRATING A HOSTILE REACTION TO THE VISIT OF TAIWAN'S PRESIDENT TO THE SPRATLY ISLANDS IS PUT THE PHILIPPINES IN AN EMBARRASSING AND DEFENSIVE POSTURE BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.
TAIWAN EMPLOYS THOUSANDS OF FILIPINO OVERSEAS WORKERS WHO WILL BE AFFECTED SHOULD ITS GOVERNMENT TAKE THE OFFENSIVE REMARKS OF SENATOR SANTIAGO IN A NEGATIVE LIGHT. THIS INCIDENT IS TYPICAL OF THE WAY FILIPINO PUBLIC OFFICIALS REACT TO THEIR PERSONAL PERCEPTIONS OF FOREIGNERS WHO ENTER THE COUNTRY.
Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said Taiwan must adhere to the code of conduct covering the disputed islands. This includes the prohibition in building of structures in the area.
Teodoro said diplomacy should be used to settle the controversy. He called on Taiwan to keep the status quo and joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in condemning the visit.
For his part, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Armed Forces chief of staff, said there will not be any additional troop deployment to the disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Esperon said claimants need to respect the existing arrangements to prevent tension among the countries claiming the islands.
The Philippines has 60 soldiers stationed at the Kalayaan group of island which is composed of eight islands, the biggest of which is Pag-asa.
Posted on Feb 4, 2008, 9:41 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124