MANILA -- Malacañang on Saturday downplayed the recruitment video released by China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the release of such a video is normal as it is intended to entice more Chinese to join the military.
She added that the Philippines' focus is on the arbitration case it filed against China.
"Well, obviously, it's a recruitment video. It's intended to entice their people to join their organizations. But as far as we're concerned, really, for us we concentrate on the tracks that we have taken and we concentrate on our initiatives. As you can see, we prepared really well for the first round of argumentation before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in The Netherlands, and we would rather continue to prepare for eventualities on our initiatives," Valte said.
The Chinese navy last week released a four-minute, 16-second recruitment video, wherein it included all the islands being claimed and reclaimed by China plus a show of its firepower during war games in disputed seas, according to an article on The National Interest magazine’s website. The original article came out on the Lowry Interpreter website.
The accompanying text in a second part of the video, titled “Call of Duty,” said “71 percent of the globe we depend on is blue water... wherever there is blue water, we will be there to secure navigation... China’s oceanic and overseas interests are expanding rapidly... our land is vast but we will not yield an inch of our territory to foreigners.”
The video was released amid the ongoing tension between China and other South China Sea claimant states.
Valte reiterated the Aquino administration's position that the maritime dispute should not affect the trade and diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China.
"You know, what we've always said about our relationship with China, is that iba-iba hong level 'yan, yet it is multifaceted. And just because we have an issue with them in terms of the maritime dispute does not mean that we will not work with them on other levels. For example, 'yung sa trade po natin, 'yung people-to-people exchanges natin, 'yung ibang diplomatic initiatives natin. So we do not let that go because we have a dispute, but rather we continue to work on these initiatives with them," she said.
For Valte, the country's trade relations with China is different from the issue of territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
"What I'm saying is that we have always approached the relationship with China on a multilevel scale. It's a multifaceted relationship that we do not… As much as possible, we… Despite the existence of the dispute on one facet, on one level of the relationship, we continue to work with them on the other facets that are already there," she said. - with a report from The Philippine Star