The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) welcomed on Saturday the position of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) calling for a peacefuel resolution of dispute in the South China Sea.

National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya lauded President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s diplomatic efforts to assert the Philippines’ commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity during the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia this week.

“Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate our President, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for successfully securing the support of ASEAN for the Philippines position in the West Philippine Sea,” Malaya said in a news forum last Saturday.

Marcos sought ASEAN’s intrrvention during the summit last week where he urged member nations not to allow the international peaceful order to be subjected to the forces that would promote hegemonic ambition in the South China Sea.

“The President’s successful engagement to our ASEAN partners strengthens our diplomatic efforts in advancing the nation’s interest and maintaining regional peace and security. We remain committed to supporting these initiatives that are aligned with our national security objectives,” Malaya said.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commodore Jay Tarriela, Spokesperson of the NTF-WPS, also stated that the PCG is pleased with the interventions made by the President during his attendance at the said summit.

“So with that kind of intervention of the President, I think for the Philippine Coast Guard, we’re very happy that he has mentioned this and told the entire ASEAN nations that this is something that we really need to look out for,” Tarriela said.

In his delivery of the Chairman’s Statement, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said ASEAN has reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.

He further urged all nations to avoid actions that may further complicate the situation but rather pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law including the 1982 UNCLOS.

The issue came in the midst of the recent harassments made by Chinese Coast Guard and militia vessels against Filipino civilian vessels conducting resupply mission to troops stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, tha latest of which occured just last week.