Singapore rebuffs PH claim of support on sea dispute

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2012 09:03 PM | Updated as of Sep 11 2012 05:03 AM

MANILA - Singapore’s Foreign Ministry flatly denied Philippine claims of its support for the Philippine position on its dispute with China on the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement posted on its website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesman made the following comments.

“When PM Lee met President Aquino on 8 September 2012, he reiterated Singapore’s consistent position, namely that we do not take sides on the merits or otherwise of the various specific disputes in the South China Sea. PM Lee called on all claimants to exercise restraint and for disputes to be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. We had made this clear after the 8 September meeting."

The MFA spokesman clarified it does not take sides in the dispute. “We have seen the reports in question. You all know how free the Filipino media is? they can even be very free with the facts. There has been no change to Singapore's position.”

The MFA even took a swipe at Philippine media, “Unlike the Filipino media reports you refer to, we deal with facts not fiction. MFA has received media queries referring to articles in the Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin published on 9 September 2012, reporting that Singapore supported the Philippines’ position in the South China Sea dispute during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok on 8September 2012.”