Defending sovereignty, territory ‘paramount priority’ of Duterte admin – DND

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National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that defending the sovereignty and protecting territory are “paramount priority” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

“The Philippines continues to pursue an independent and principled foreign policy that serves our national interest, fosters respectful friendships, and facilitates beneficial and meaningful cooperation and partnership with the global community,” Secretary Lorenzana said during Pre-SONA 2020 “Tatak ng Pagbabago 2020: The Pre-SONA Forum” for Security, Justice and Peace Cluster and Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster on July 22.

Lorenzana said “defending national sovereignty and protecting territorial integrity is a paramount priority of this administration.”

“President Duterte’s bilateral and multilateral engagement with other countries and cooperative mechanisms amongst claimant countries has significantly lowered the tension and has greatly helped in managing the issues in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

“We have actively pushed for the effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. We are likewise pursuing the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea by all the claimant states. We continue to engage them in confidence building measures,” Secretary Lorenzana said.