Palace: Right response, right time on the West Philippine Sea issue

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that inspite the awarding of a favorable decision on the West Philippine Sea dispute, the government is still studying the decision on what should be the next steps regarding the matter.

“We are not keeping our cards close to our chest. We are really thinking through the right response but the initial statement should be some time after Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay comes back from Mongolia,” Abella said in a press briefing on Friday.

According to Abella, Yasay represented the country in the ongoing Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM) in Mongolia.

After the Arbitral Court handed down its decision, fishermen have tried to fish in the disputed areas. But Abella said, “We are still saying that the fishermen are not prevented. However, they are cautioned to proceed with care.”

On the matter of the Executive Order on Freedom of Information, Abella said the President is reviewing the draft before signing the document.

On the question regarding the “narco mayors”. Abella said he will look into the matter so that it may be available in soonest possible time. PND