Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he believes that the Philippines has “co-control” in Bajo de Masinloc also known as Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
“I believe at this point in time, may co-control tayo because malaya na tayong pumupunta,” Cayetano said at the sidelines of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)’s 120th anniversary celebration on June 18.
“But definitely when President [Rodrigo] Duterte came in it was controlled by the Chinese,” he added.
He said that the situation now in the disputed maritime feature “is much much better than two years ago.”
“Do we want total control? Definitely. But the reality is matinding negotiations ang dadaanan natin,” he added.
He noted that China does not expect Philippines to change position. “So why would we expect them to already change their position right away. Mahabang negosasyon ‘yan,” he said.
Bajo de Masinloc is part of the Municipality of Masinloc, Province of Zambales. It is located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and is within the 200 nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Sources: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/168014/news-alan-peter-cayetano-scarborough-shoal-china; http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2012/04/18/philippine-position-on-bajo-de-masinloc-and-the-waters-within-its-vicinity/