Cagayan Governor on the WPS issue: Continuous bilateral talks are still the hope

Cagayan Governor on the WPS issue: Continuous bilateral talks are still the hope

AN embattled local chief executive has spoken on issues concerning the Philippines, the US, and China in the West Philippine Sea rift.

“We have always been anti-war. We have always been anti-foreign forces,” according to Manuel Mamba, Governor, Cagayan Province.

This has been the message of the embattled Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba as his province is now on the edge of an impending war in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Cagayan Province hosts two EDCA Sites of the US, mainly in Lal-lo Airport and Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta. Ana.

With the ongoing tensions in the disputed territories with the US backing the Philippines, Mamba hopes for cooler heads between our leaders and foreign counterparts.

“We are still praying no. We could always search for a common ground. On all the disagreements that we have,” Mamba added.

Mamba’s province sits on the northern side of the Philippines, the side that faces Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that meddling in their issues with Taiwan will change everything in the disputed territories.

The Taiwan Government now allies with the US, with the US placing its firepower in the Philippines, some in Cagayan Province.

Mamba said that bilateral negotiations are still the hope for the tensions to go down.

“There’s always hope and chance no. Napakadali eh. From the very outset, our neighbors have been asking for bilateral talks. And I was part of the Aquino administration. They talk lengthily about this. That’s why I’m still hoping that bilateral talks and with the continuous dialogue, we could still foster (or) seek a middle ground for countries that have disputes,” Mamba stressed.

With setbacks in the negotiations between China and the Philippines and with President Marcos leaning more toward US power, the veteran politician said that world leaders should seek a middle ground to resolve issues.

“Any neighbor and any country…Husbands and wives even quarrel but they do not kill each other no. They always seek for a middle ground. And this is what we are also looking for so that we could have peace and progress,” he stated.

Mamba is a known critic of the spurting of EDCA sites during the Marcos administration.

As such, he paid the price of expressing dissent as the current regime disqualified Mamba as Cagayan governor for violation of the election spending ban.

Mamba has availed of legal remedies to contest the Comelec order.

Nevertheless, Mamba said that the interest of the Filipino people must prevail.

And that interest could not be found through war.

“Leaders should be doing that. Sitting, chatting, and making friends no. I think cooler heads will count,” he added.

Mamba is an APPCU awardee this year for promoting China-Philippines understanding.

An undertaking he said that must continue to promote peace between our countries.


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