MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario was able to expound on the Philippine position regarding the West Philippine Sea even if his microphone went dead during an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting last week.
"Notwithstanding that the microphone was silent, he was able to proceed and expound the position of our country," Lacierda said.
Lacierda quoted a statement of DFA Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio.
"Again, there is a statement by Undersecretary [Erlinda] Basilio of the [Department of] Foreign Affairs and let me quote Undersecretary Basilio: 'Secretary Del Rosario stayed to finish the meeting and was steadfast in promoting and defending the Philippine national interest. In fact, even when his microphone went silent when he first began to speak on the Scarborough Shoal issue, Secretary Del Rosario strongly articulated the Philippine position and proceeded to conclude his remarks.'”
Lacierda said the Philippines disagrees with the Chinese position that "ASEAN members have reached broad consensus on further acceleration of the building of the ASEAN community" despite the absence of a joint communiqué.
"This is the first time in 45 years that the joint communiqué was not issued and certainly it was not something that was taken positively by our ASEAN neighbors. So it was only the Chinese who are claiming success in that particular regional forum. So we do not agree with their position," Lacierda said.