A Filipino lawyer on Friday said President Benigno Aquino III should have not come up with a statement, saying the country was prepared to step in to help resolve the Thai-Cambodian border row when he cannot even find solutions to the political conflict now gripping southern Philippines.
The lawyer, who requested anonymity for personal reasons, also said Aquino should instead focus his attention on how to claim some parts of the disputed Spratly Islands, which belong to our sovereignty.
“I am a bit disappointed. How can we help the Thai-Cambodian border row when we have our own border row in southern Philippines that needs to be resolved?” the lawyer asked Allvoices.
The lawyer, however, praised Aquino for his firm stand on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, which is now being pushed by both houses of Congress amid the early opposition of the Philippine Catholic Church.
“But then I really admire him (Aquino) on that position. He did well for the welfare of the poorest of the poor in our country,” the lawyer said.
Aquino was in Bangkok Thursday when he issued the statement shortly after his meeting with Thai leader.
The Thai-Cambodian border row has already claimed 18 dead, displacing 85,000 others, reports said. The relationship between the two countries turned sour when the disputed Preah Vihear temple was granted UN Heritage status in 2008.
Thailand and Cambodia earlier agreed to accept Indonesian military observers on the border. But this initiative was stalled when Thailand demanded that Cambodian troops first leave the disputed temple.