Aquino to next President: How do you intend to defend national territory, sovereignty

Noting that “defending the national territory, upholding national sovereignty is a function of the President,” President Aquino said 2016 presidential candidates must answer the question “how do you intend to do this in light of this particular challenge?”

It is a legitimate question for anyone who plans to hold the top position in government, Aquino told reporters prior to his travel back to Manila from ASEAN Summit in Malaysia.

“ASEAN as a whole must continue to play a positive role in resolving this regional problem, which is multilateral in nature and therefore not resolvable through purely bilateral solutions,” Aquino told his counterparts in ASEAN during the summit. “Others have spoken. Now, it behooves all of us in ASEAN to collectively speak with one voice.”

Vice-President Binay, a confirmed presidential candidate in 2016, has made known how he will deal with China. He said Philippines may explore oil and gas in West Philippines Sea through a joint venture with China while continuing to fight for country’s sovereignty. “Personally, my feeling is we will continue to insist (on) our sovereignty over those properties but at the same time we hope we can create a situation where we can improve bilateral relations with China.”

“China has all the capital and we have the property so why don’t we try and develop that property as a joint venture,” the Vice President said last week.