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VP Leni: 'Sana All' on Being Assertive on the West Philippine Sea

'Pag interes na ng sariling bansa natin, dapat pumalag tayo.'
IMAGE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
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"Sana all."

That's how Vice President Leni Robredo described China's assertiveness in laying claims on the entirety of the West Philippine Sea. She pointed out how China asserts its maritime claims despite being rebuffed by a UN-backed tribunal five years ago. She said Tuesday the Philippines should be as assertive.

On the fifth anniversary of the ruling last July 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian dismissed the Philippines' legal victory as "illegal, null and void. It is nothing more than a piece of waste paper."

Sana all. Sana 'yung gobyerno natin willing din na magpakita ng konting tapang regarding the issue kasi habang umaatras tayo, lalo lang tayong didiinan," Robredo said on Tuesday.

Robredo said that although China's tone was unnecessary and unfortunate, it was expected.

"After all, governments are expected to assert their nation's interest even if sometimes nga they have to bend logic in the process," she said.

"'Pag interes na ng sariling bansa natin dapat pumalag tayo."

Zhao's comments came as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hit China for coercing and intimidating other South China Sea claimants.

This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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