Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said he personally prefers using “West Philippine Sea” over the proposed “Sea of Asia” for the sake of clarity in territorial rights.
In an interview with reporters on October 30, 2023, Cayetano acknowledged that Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla’s idea of renaming the disputed territory as “Sea of Asia” has some merit.
“Maganda po y’ung idea ni Secretary Boying if just to emphasize that [71 percent] of the world is water, and that napakaimportante na ‘wag tayong mag-away-away diyan kundi magtulungan,” Cayetano said.
He noted, however, that when it comes to standing our ground on the dispute, sticking to “West Philippine Sea” is the way to go especially since the 2016 Arbitral Ruling has declared the Philippines’ right on the territory.
The area was officially named West Philippine Sea on September 5, 2012 through Administrative Order No. 29 issued by then-President Benigno Aquino III.
Cayetano said he himself consistently used the term “West Philippine Sea” when talking to world leaders and opinion-makers during his stint as Secretary of the Foreign Affairs in 2017-2018.
“In fact one of the former American Secretaries of State, sabi niya, ‘Oh, that (West Philippine Sea) is interesting. Yes, we should start using that,” the senator recalled.