China did not occupy features in West Philippine Sea during Duterte's term
China did not occupy new features in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday.
"I just want to tell the public that since President Duterte was elected, China did not occupy new territory, they did not occupy vacant, unoccupied features," Lorenzana said during the ''Laging Handa'' virtual public briefing.
"We always say that not an inch of our West Philippine Sea has been taken by China during the time and at the same time he was able to talk to the leadership of the Chinese government for us to continue our peaceful coexistence while we are sorting out the territorial dispute in the area," he said.
Despite the existing territorial dispute, Lorenzana said the situation in the West Philippine Sea remains peaceful except for the water cannon incident against the supply vessel of the Philippine government which was addressed.
"The situation right now is peaceful, stable, there is no conflict monitored except water cannon incident against our supply ship but I already discussed it with the Ambassador of China and he apologized, so now our resupply continued," he said.
"I said it is peaceful because we did not see any conflict, maybe because first of all both our governments are already talking, I think the better solution there is still diplomatic, at the same time we already acquired ships and we are patrolling the area," he added. Robina Asido/DMS