Ex-pres. Aquino calls for transparency in PH talks with China over sea row
Former President Benigno Aquino III urged on Saturday the Duterte administration to be transparent in dealing with China on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
In an interview with reporters in Quezon City, Aquino said that lack of transparency in the talks with China could only result to some speculations among the Filipinos.
"Please, we hope that you will be transparent in the negotiation in order to remove doubts among our citizens," he said.
Government officials, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, have said that the Duterte administration need not be noisy in talking with China insofar as the territorial dispute is concerned.
They have said that the government did not need to always make public whenever it is making a protest against Chinese activities in the South China Sea.
It was during the Aquino administration that the Philippine government filed a petition against China, questioning its historic claim in almost the entire South China Sea through its nine-dash line and its reclamation activities in the disputed waters, including those within the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines. But the Duterte administration has decided to put this in the back burner. However, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to bring up the ruling with China at the proper time before his term ends in 2022. DMS