‘The ten-dash line is the only provocation’ – Teodoro

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024 (Quezon City) – During the celebration of the Swedish National Day and reception for Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson on Thursday last week, Secretary of National Defense Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. emphasized that tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and the larger South China Sea emanate solely from the so-called ten-dash illegally claimed by China as their territory.

“China wants us to go to the small details to forget the main message. The main message is: The ten-dash-line is the provocation. And everything flows from that,” said Secretary Teodoro during an interview with reporters. “They have no business being anywhere in the West Philippine Sea and other areas where we have jurisdiction.”

The Defense Chief stressed that narratives are being whittled down to the tactical level to distract the Filipino public and the international community from focusing on the root cause of the tensions in the WPS.

“They are trying to bait us by straying from the main points and dragging us into an action-drama debate, where we focus on minor details which stray us from the main message,” he added. “Let’s stick to the message.”

Secretary Teodoro further disclosed that efforts to manage the tensions in the WPS are continuously being undertaken by the government through the Department of Foreign Affairs. However, he said that no discussions at the defense level are underway, and underscored that any agreement or talks should be open, rooted in international law, and uphold Philippine national interests.

“Kailangan open and transparent, (dahil) kailangan katanggap-tanggap (sa) mga Pilipino, makatarungan, ligal, at pabor sa interes ng Pilipinas. Kung hindi, itatakwil ito,” said Secretary Teodoro.

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