Honasan finds it prudent to focus not on Duterte’s vocabulary but on his policies

Published February 20, 2018, 2:00 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Mario Casayuran

Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, chairman of the Senate national defense committee, said today he finds it prudent to concentrate not on the vocabulary of President Duterte but on his policies.

Honasan issued this statement following President Duterte’s speech during the 20th anniversary celebration of the Chinese Filipino Business Club that China could just make the Philippines a province, like Fujian.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan (Cheryl Baldicantos / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Gregorio Honasan (Cheryl Baldicantos / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In that occasion, Duterte said the Philippine government is exerting more serious efforts to resolve the territorial issues in the South China Sea.

Asked to comment on that President’s statement issued in jest, Honasan said it would be presumptuous on his part to comment on the President’s vocabulary.

Asked how the President’s statement sounds, he said: ‘’I would not know…to me, the prudent thing to do is to concentrate not on the vocabulary but on the policy…if they are gaining fractions on the ground, on the implementation policy.’’

“What we need is to fill up the policy vacuum . clear dapat ang economic policy, foreign policy, security policy should be clear so that we will develop.. from to protect our integrity, our territorial integrity (to) our sovereignty.’’

The United Nations Arbitral Court has issued a decision favoring the Philippine claim over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and rejecting China’s historical claim over most parts of the South China Sea.

President Duterte defended China’s construction of military structures on the contested Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the WPS.

The Duterte administration had stated it favors a joint exploration agreement with China at possible gas and oil fields in the WPS.