Cayetano's speech got here as america Navy sailed two warships within 12 nautical miles of China's synthetic islands within the Paracels, as a part of their common freedom of navigation workouts within the contested waters.
But speaking at a hearing focusing on the South China Sea on Wednesday at the legislative assembly, former Philippine maritime officer Rep. Gary Alejano revealed just how quiet the government's been in dealing with China in the disputed waters.
Esperonmaintained there is no need to file a diplomatic protest against China over the deployment of its bombers on Woody Island in the South China Sea because it is beyond the Philippine exclusive economic zone.
On Sunday, the U.S. Navy conducted freedom of navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea, sparking an angry response from Beijing who voiced its "strong dissatisfaction" with the moves.
The lighthouses would also ensure safe navigation of the vessels in the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest waterways.
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"Our soldiers should not be harassed when they deliver supplies or when they fix the runways", Cayetano said, referring to the small airstrip on Pag-asa [Thitu], the largest Philippine-occupied island in the Spratlys.
The ruling, however, was promulgated when Duterte was already president.
It was the primary time multiple U.S. vessel had been used within the workouts, in line with specialists, a part of a latest escalation in USA opposition to China's motion within the area.
The IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, which runs from Friday to Sunday, is an annual security summit for Asia attended by defence ministers and other officials from more than 50 countries, including China, the US, Australia, Japan, India, France, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Esperon reported that five lighthouses have been built on Pag-asa, Likas, Parola, Patag and Kota islands - all part of the Kalayaan Group of Islands "to ensure safety of navigation, along our responsibility under the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) to provide navigational safety for all worldwide vessels transiting the West Philippine Sea".
The territorial disputes and U.S.
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The Chinese military has also installed jamming technology in the South China Sea, escalating tensions.
"This is necessary for trade, the preservation of the livelihood of the fisherfolk, and the timely delivery of basic necessities of the community in the municipality of Pag-asa", he said. "If there's multiple nation militarizing, and it isn't exclusively the islands, if big navies are crusing by means of the world, is that not militarization?" he mentioned.
But he said it was unfair to single out China for its advanced militarization in the South China Sea.
"Our diplomats are robustly engaged on this", Mattis said.
He is stopping in Hawaii to mark a change in leadership at US Pacific Command.
Harris has been nominated to become the next USA ambassador to South Korea.
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Speaking to reporters during a flight to Hawaii, Mattis said the South China Sea was global waters and "a lot of nations" wanted to see freedom of navigation maintained in the area. He will be replaced by Admiral Philip Davidson.