Del Rosario: Aquino admin did all ‘necessary, possible means’ on sea row

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:26 PM April 02, 2019

Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Tuesday asserted that the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III did everything it can to achieve “a peaceful conclusion” to the South China Sea dispute.

Del Rosario said the Aquino administration undertook “more bilateral consultations with (China) than any other administration” and “protested more times than anybody else.”


The ex-top diplomat of the government rejected allegations that the Aquino administration’s negligence led to China’s aggressive building of artificial islands in the disputed waters.

“We undertook the necessary, every possible means to come to a peaceful conclusion to this problem,” Del Rosario said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel when told that some groups accuse the Aquino administration of not acting enough to prevent China’s building of structures in the West Philippine Sea.


“We wanted a durable peaceful solution to emanate from this. It did not happen,” he added.

Del Rosario underscored China’s “very clear expansion agenda” that was based on its “unlawful premise” that it had sovereignty over the entire South China Sea.

China’s strategy, he noted, involved “salami slicing” wherein it did things “slowly and illegally so that nobody notices and if they notice, it’s not an infraction big enough for anybody to get excited about.”

This approach, he also said, enabled China to seize control over contested areas in the South China Sea.

Del Rosario said that when the Aquino administration noticed this shady salami slicing scheme, they immediately called for bilateral talks with China.

“We engaged in bilateral consultations and the records would show that we have had more bilateral consultations with them than any other administration,” he said.

“We also noted that we protested more times than anybody else in out of these bilaterals,” he also said.


When the numerous bilateral talks apparently failed, Del Rosario said the Aquino administration had no choice but to put together a “legal track,” causing the Philippines’ filing of a complaint against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands.

PCA is an intergovernmental organization providing a variety of dispute resolution between states.

The Philippines questioned the legality of China’s “nine-dash line,” which virtually covers most of the South China Sea, including areas that other Asian nations also claim.

In 2016, the arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines. It invalidated China’s nine-dash line and affirmed the Philippines exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea (in the South China Sea). /kga


PH wins arbitration case over South China Sea

China slams PH over South China Sea case

Aquino says he worked hard to fight China’s incursion into West PH Sea

UNCLOS explained: Why China’s claims in South China Sea are invalid

The heart of the dispute over the West PH Sea

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Albert del Rosario, China, Local news, Nation, national news, news, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine news updates, South China sea, West Philippine Sea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.