MANILA - The United States Senate said the Philippines properly exercised its right in pushing for peaceful means in resolving the maritime disputes.
This was contained in a recently passed Senate resolution, which pushes for the peaceful settlement of issues hounding the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.
“This Resolution affirms the long-standing strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States that is highlighted by the recent signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA),” Malacanang said.
The US Senate approved Resolution No. 412 entitled: “Reaffirming the strong support of the United States Government for the freedom of navigation and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region, and for the peaceful diplomatic resolution of outstanding territorial and maritime claims and disputes.”
The resolution also provides that the US Senate “condemns coercive and threatening actions or the use of force to impede freedom of operations in international airspace by military or civilian aircraft, to alter the status quo or to destabilize the Asia-Pacific Region.”
China has been at odds with neighboring countries over its attempt to rein control over the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines has already brought the case before an arbitral tribunal, which China continues to snub.
The resolution noted “the Republic of the Philippines properly exercised its rights to peaceful settlement mechanisms with the filing of arbitration case under Article 287 and Article VII of the Convention of the Law of the Sea in order to achieve a peaceful and durable solution to the dispute…”
The US Senate also reaffirmed its “unwavering commitment and support for allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific Region, including long-standing United States policy regarding Article V of the United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”
Malacanang, meanwhile, reiterated its commitment to pursue all legal options to counter China’s aggressive stance.
“We reiterate our commitment to pursue diplomatic, political and legal options, as well as our solidarity with our ASEAN neighbors and other allies toward the peaceful resolution of disputes and the promotion of long-term stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.