MANILA - Malacañang sees no need for the Philippines to explain to China President Aquino’s comments made in an interview with The New York Times where he drew parallelisms between the country’s maritime row with China and the Nazi regime’s imperialistic ambitions.
“I don’t think there is any move on our part to explain. The President has the right to express his views to journalists that interview him. Can you imagine a situation that (if) one of you asks the President something and he replied in a certain way, is this something that needs to be explained to another country? I don’t think so,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.
He brushed aside a commentary made by a writer of the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, which called President Aquino “an amateurish politician… ignorant both of history and reality.”
“Any newspaper, local or foreign, is free to give its own comments, but we will just remain focused on achieving what is best for our national interest. We will not be swayed or distracted by a commentary that is not fully aligned with our own position,” he said.
Coloma said the country’s call for adherence to the rule of law in resolving maritime disputes has gained support from the international community.
“I think, all things considered, our advocacy of rules-based approach and respect for the rule of law has gained credence, and has gained support from the region, and has also been affirmed by other countries such as the US and Japan that are not members of ASEAN,” he said.