Amid WPS rift, Marcos underscores Philippines is a 'friend to all and enemy to none'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 21) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. underscores that the Philippines is a "friend to all and an enemy to none." He called on the members of United Nations to resolve disputes “through reason and right” amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

Addressing world leaders during the 77th UN General Assembly in New York Wednesday morning Philippine time, Marcos said the Philippines has “provided an example” of how states should resolve their differences.

“By reinforcing the predictability and stability of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, we provided an example of how states should resolve their differences: through reason and right,” he said.

The Philippines and China have been locked in territorial dispute amid Beijing’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea. In 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines — a decision that China has been ignoring.

Marcos earlier said he would assert the country's rights over the West Philippine Sea, and he would talk to China "consistently with a firm voice" about the two countries' territorial dispute.

He also said going to war against China is not an option. He is open to talks “to find ways to work, to resolve the conflicts we have.”

RELATED: Marcos renews pledge to defend PH territory, manage conflicts through consensus 

Chinese militia vessels were last sighted in the contested WPS late July.