Panelo said US should not interfere with Philippine territorial dispute
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the United State should not interfere on the Philippines’ decision on territorial dispute not to pursue the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal invalidating China’s claim on the disputed South China Sea.
“I think they should not interfere on what the Philippines want, that’s foreign interference. We have our own program, we will be the one to dictate on when are we going to assert (our rights),” Panelo said in a radio interview on Saturday.
“The president already said that as now we were not ( tackling this issue), but there will come a time on his administration that it will be discuss between China and the Philippines,” he added.
Panelo give his reaction after a senior official of a Washington-based think tank group CSIS Southeast Asia program senior adviser Ernest Bower said the Philippines should assert its claims in South China Sea with the use of the international court ruling that favors country’s case against China.
Bower said the Philippines could endanger its security and sovereignty due to its failure to assert its territorial rights based on the Netherlands-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.
Panelo also emphasized the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte on the matter.
“Right now, the president said we have to be friendly to all other country and we will talk about the welfare of our country, because even if you assert it, we cannot do anything, even the Americans do not want to help us, and they will not interfere unless they will be attack,” he said.
“It’s impractical but there will come a time that we will have to assert (our claim),” Panelo added. Robina Asido/DMS