Press Release
November 19, 2020

"Strong but prudent": Hontiveros lauds AFP deputy chief of staff's position on West PH Sea

Senator Risa Hontiveros found a "strong but prudent" diplomatic voice for the country's operations at the West Philippine Sea in AFP Deputy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan.

At the Commission on Appointments hearing on Thursday, Hontiveros lauded Kagaoan as he affirmed the principle that the Philippines will always stand for our national sovereignty with regard to WPS disputes.

Kagaoan was asked about his opinion on the implications of a seemingly aggressive possible defense secretary of the United States on the tensions around China's artificial islands in the WPS. He then asserted that "any move that will sustain the stability and security of the South China Sea, especially the WPS, and any move strategically and diplomatically is so welcomed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines."

Hontiveros manifested in appreciation of the officer's answer: "It was a response that was strong and at the same time prudent, as befitting a comparatively small country like us, which seeks peace in our region but has national pride," she said.

"He couched it in language that was also very diplomatic. I appreciate that kind of expression of the policy of our Armed Forces, which I think is very healthily in line with our best policy as a country that seeks peace. And we seek it through primarily diplomatic and political means kaya nga napakahalaga ng ating diplomatic victory sa The Hague," Hontiveros said.

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