MANILA - A former senator and ex-Armed Forces chief criticized Friday the Duterte administration's apparent "disconnect" in its response to Chinese intrusions in the West Philippine Sea.
Speaking to ANC, ex-Armed Forces chief Rodolfo Biazon said there was "no united, clear position of the government" with regards to the country's territorial waters being swarmed by Chinese vessels.
"Disconnect. Meaning what do we hear? Different positions from different political sectors, positions even from civilian organizations, and I am confused. Ano ba ang polisiya natin (What's our policy)?" he said.
"Hindi lang tayo ang nako-confuse, hindi lang 'yong policymakers ang nako-confuse (Not only us and our policymakers are confused), including our potential allies and potential friends.)
Biazon said the Philippine government should elevate its pursuit of interest on the West Philippine Sea by placing its action on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an international treaty that provides a regulatory framework for the use of the world's seas and oceans.
He said the country could also refer to the Philippine Baselines Law, which is being used as basis of the country’s maritime boundaries with neighboring coastal states.
"We have the world on our side. Let us not scare them. Let us allow them to continue to help us," he said.
Biazon earlier urged senators to convene the National Security Council so that the government could speak with “one voice” on the West Philippine Sea.
The country's maritime dispute with China made headlines anew after hundreds of Chinese ships were sighted in Philippine waters since March.
A United Nations-backed court ruled in favor of Manila and junked Beijing's claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea.
However, Beijing, which continues to ignore the landmark ruling, has been accused of militarizing the marine resources- and energy-rich waters, a major international trade route.