Estrada: Chinese claim on alleged recorded call plain ‘disinformation’

(PNA) MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Thursday denounced the alleged recorded audio communication between a Chinese diplomat and a high-ranking Filipino military official as “nothing but another apparent disinformation campaign by the Chinese government.”

In a statement, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense further called it a “trap” to divert attention from China’s claims and aggression against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“China’s claim is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. We will not be swayed by falsehoods,” Estrada said.

The Chinese Embassy earlier said the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines made an agreement with China on the “new model” for managing the situation at the Ayungin Shoal to ease the tensions in WPS.

“Ayungin Shoal is an integral part of our exclusive economic zone and this has been already upheld by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in 2016,” Estrada emphasized.

He called on the Filipino troops to “remain loyal to the flag that represents our nation’s sovereignty” and “be vigilant against any underhanded tactics that may weaken our position.”

Estrada also called for unity in defending the country’s territorial rights “as our strength lies in our unity.” (PNA)