Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday revealed that he had called off his plan to deploy a PhThe Defense chief said he decided to call of the deployment after President Rodrigo Duterte warned his Cabinet members at the time not to offend China.
Lorenzana made the disclosure at a forum in Makati on maritime disputes in South China Sea, saying that he mulled on sending the Navy to Scarborough Shoal after getting wind that the Philippines might win its case against China in the Hague-based UN court.
As it was told to Lorenzana, the Hague-based UN Court favored the Philippines' arguments by rejecting China's nine-dash line assertion claiming the entire South China Sea, and declaring that the Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal and Recto (Reed) Bank in the South China Sea are all within the EEZ of the Philippines.
“A week before the ruling was announced, [then] US Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He said, 'the ruling will come out soon, and we think it is in your favor.' So I talked to the Philippine Navy... if we can field a small force in Scarborough Shoal, drive away the Chinese there, recover the Scarborough Shoal,” Lorenzana said.ilippine Navy contingent in Scarborough Shoal in July 2016 in the aftermath of the Philippines securing a favorable ruling from the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration which invalidated China's massive claims in the South China Sea.