Photo by NPPA

Former President Fidel Ramos said he believes the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China over portions of the West Philippine Sea will not escalate to a full-blown war.
“I think we should not worry about a World War III kind of conflict… Historically, nakikita natin na China has always been on our offensive commercially, but not to grab territory or to colonize any country,” Ramos said in an exclusive interview with GMA News Online editor-in-chief and anchor Howie Severino aired over GMA News TV’s “News To Go” on Thursday morning.

Ramos recalled how the Philippines, along with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), already committed to peacefully resolve territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea during the early days of his presidency in 1992.
“At the time, the ASEAN 6 and their dialogue partners, kasama ‘yung China at US, agreed to the peaceful resolution of all conflicts within the South China Sea and the joint exploration and development of resources therein,” he said.
The former President said this agreement was formalized through anASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea signed in Manila on July 22, 1992.
The declaration “emphasized the necessity to resolve all sovereignty and jurisdictional issues pertaining to the South China Sea by peaceful means.” It also urged all parties concerned “to exercise restraint with the view to creating a positive climate for the eventual resolution of all disputes.”
Ramos, however, noted that the declaration was “non-binding” and thus must be strengthened through an ASEAN Code of Conduct on the West Philippine Sea.
Earlier this year, Philippine and Chinese forces engaged in a standoff over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales province. The Philippines uses the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as basis for its claim on the shoal, while China uses historical claims.
The Philippines and China are also both claiming parts of the Spratly Islands, a string of atolls and islands straddling vital shipping lanes in the West Philippine Sea believed to be sitting atop vast mineral deposits. — with Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News



  1. If Communist Chinese want peaceful resolution with the Philippine over the Disputed Island, then Continue to do so. Let not forget that the Filipino will not give up on its claim on the Disputed Island in the South China Sea and It is important that the AFP will modernize and upgrade all its Military Capabilities for Defensive Purposes.

    1. If we let the government decide for us and we keep quiet. It is a sign of approval of whatever the outcome of their decision. Not all Filipino are like horses of a chariot.