Unlike his predecessor’s strategy of “microphone” diplomacy, the Duterte administration has taken on a more “prudent and pragmatic” approach in handling territorial and maritime issues at the West Philippine Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Wednesday.
During a briefing by the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) at the House of Representatives, Cayetano said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s prudent approach produced an “environment of peace and stability” and has also opened cooperation in various areas such as defense, labor, tourism, education, anti-terror, and trade and investments for the benefit of Filipinos.
“The past administration chose the approach of being loud, resulting in us losing control of a very important area in our national territory. Yes, there were gains, there were several gains, but there were also major losses,” Cayetano said.
“Our approach, President Duterte’s approach, is prudent, patient and pragmatic. This approach has produced major results. It changed the momentum towards stability, peace and cooperation,” he added.
The Foreign Affairs chief said the Philippines has already filed “several dozens” of diplomatic protests against China in the West Philippines Sea over the past two years, but they chose not to announce it to media as it might affect ongoing talks.
Cayetano said that although the government is not “loudly protesting,” it does not mean that it has already acquiesced to China.
Cayetano said that China also gave the assurance that “we are not their enemy.” (By Filane Mikee Cervantes, Philippine News Agency)