China’s aggression and illegal claiming of islands and territories in the Philippines is a situation that’s “stable” and “manageable,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, adding that what can be considered as a bigger threat to the security of the country is the existence of communist rebels.
Lorenzana stressed that more than the external factors, the danger lies on internal concerns, citing terrorists who have mostly established their bases in Mindanao. He added that the country should focus attention more on such issues.
The DND chief explained that the West Philippine Sea dispute is now being managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
In response, Senator Risa Hontiveros contradicted the statement of Lorenzana, saying that she was “surprised” that he considered communist insurgency as the biggest threat while police and military forces have been making it appear like it is under control.
Lorenzana himself repeatedly confirmed China’s continued illegal activities in the WPS which a Hague ruling released in 2016 identified as part of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.
Hontiveros hopes that the DND is also doing something to “prioritize external threats.”