PNoy to raise sea row at APEC meet

By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 23 2015 08:47 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2015 04:47 PM

MANILA - The South China Sea issue may be raised at the bilateral meetings of President Aquino with other leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila in November, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

The Philippines has taken the South China Sea agenda to appropriate meetings, including the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but the DFA said the maritime disputes would not be taken up in APEC proper.

“APEC is an economic forum and this (dispute) is basically political, and that’s the agreement in APEC,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a press briefing.

But the President may discuss the South China Sea issue during his bilateral meetings.

“Definitely there will be bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC summit,” Jose said.

“Of course there will be member economies requesting to have bilaterals with us and at the same time we would also be requesting to have bilateral meetings with certain member economies of APEC,” he added.

Meantime, the DFA and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) launched yesterday the next installment in the documentary series, “Episode 02: Pamanang Karagatan” following the successful launch of the first episode of the documentary, “KALAYAAN,” which tackles the economic angle of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute.

The second episode tackles the historical angle of the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea issue. Among the featured speakers is Associate Justice Antonio Carpio of the Supreme Court.

Episode 02 was launched yesterday online in the official Facebook accounts of the President (www.facebook.com.presidentnoy) and the DFA (www.facebook.com/dfaphl).

“KALAYAAN” is a three-part documentary on the West Philippine Sea produced by the DFA, in partnership with PCOO.

Each episode focuses on a different angle of the issue: economic, historical and legal.

The documentary is part of the nationwide information, education and communication campaign of the DFA to increase the level of public awareness and understanding of the issues relating to the West Philippine Sea.

The documentary is directed by RA Rivera Jr. and hosted by Lourd de Veyra, together with Jun Sabayton.

The third episode is slated to be released early next month.

“This documentary is part of our nationwide information, education and communication campaign,” Jose said.

He said a comic book will also be launched with the same objective of raising the level of awareness, consciousness and understanding of Filipinos on the very important issue of the West Philippine Sea.

Jose said the comic book is meant to reach a wider audience.

He described comics as the “easiest form of literature” and reader friendly because the issue is simplified.

“We’ll be launching it very soon,” he said.

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