Sen. Alan calls for unified diplomatic efforts amid heightened WPS dispute

As tensions continue to rise in the West Philippine Sea, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano urged the nation to come together and seek diplomatic solutions.

“No one wins sa present situation. China doesn’t win. The Philippines doesn’t win,” Cayetano told reporters on Friday, June 21, 2024.

Cayetano, who served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Duterte administration, stressed the importance of keeping politics out of the conflict with China and focusing on unity to achieve peace and stability.

“Ang usapan sa West Philippine Sea dapat walang politika, dapat united tayo,” he said.

Tensions have heightened since last year with increasingly hostile encounters between the Chinese and Philippine coast guards.

In the latest incident, a Philippine Navy sailor suffered a severed thumb when the Chinese Coast Guard rammed Philippine boats. The presence of tear gas and deployed sirens near the BRP Sierra Madre, an old warship serving as the Philippines’ military outpost in the area, were also reported.

Cayetano said he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino who said the National Security Council (NSC) must convene to formulate potential responses to China’s provocations.

Cayetano, however, noted that this could be difficult considering that the NSC is “a very large council.”

He expressed hope that the dispute would not escalate further, drawing parallels to the tension between the United States and Cuba in the 1960s.

“I do know that we are entering the point na brinkmanship na. It could get much worse,” he said.

“I still hope that there will be high level talks between the two presidents and I hope that there will be a high level mini-NSC talk na walang politika,” he added.


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