west philippine sea

Two Philippines senators push Malacañang on Sunday for bilateral talks with China in West Philippine Sea dispute.

Senator Francis Escudero and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that Malacañang should have a dialogue with China and find a peaceful resolution in the West Philippine Sea.


“The Philippines should not rely solely on rules-based approach in resolving the dispute, especially after the US has joined the pictures in the Spratly Islands.” Marcos said in a radio station dzBB interview.

“Ngayon, napasok na ang superpower na Amerika. Kung may mangyari between Amerika and China, hindi tayo maiipit. Madudurog tayo,” he told dzBB radio in an interview.
“Now that America is in the picture if something happens between America and China, we’re not just only caught, but we’re all being crushed,” he told dzBB radio in an interview.
 “Kausapin na natin ang mga Chinese hindi lang sa government-to-government level, kung hindi pati na rin unofficially. Marami namang mga Pilipinong nasa gobyerno na marami ring kaibigan sa China. Puwede nilang kausapin ang kanilang mga kaibigan at itanong kung paano maaayos ito. Hindi lang formal engagement ang kailangan natin,” he said.

We should talk to the Chinese not only in a government-to-government level but also in unofficial level, Many Filipinos in the government have a friend in China. They can talk to their friends and ask how to fix it. We don’t need only formal engagement,” he said.

“The Philippine government should utilize both diplomatic and back channels in talking to China,” Marcos said
chizEscudero also said in a separate radio interview that the Philippines has nothing to lose if it initiates bilateral talks with China even while its arbitration case before the United Nations’ (UN) Arbitral Tribunal is ongoing.

“Ano ba naman ang mawawala sa atin kung makipag-usap tayo sa multilateral, regional or bilateral (na setting)? Basta ang mahalaga ‘wag tayong bibigay ‘pag one-on-one na ang usapan,” Escudero said.

What to loose if we speak in a multilateral, regional or bilateral (setting)? But what’s important, we don’t give up if it’s already a one-on-one conversation,” Escudero said.

The senator, however, said bilateral talks with China can only proceed if the Philippines shows it is mutually interested in pursuing that tack.