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Philippines creates Nat'l Maritime Security Council

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (KUNA) -- President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, signed an order creating a council to boost national maritime security and raise awareness on mounting tensions and regional conflicts over South China Sea, or what Manilla dubs West Philippine Sea.
Local newspaper, Philippines Star, indicated that Marcos issued the executive order to comprehensively address issues affecting national security and territorial integrity of expansive maritime zones.
The order came after Marcos announced that the Philippines will be implementing countermeasures to tackle the illegal, coercive aggressive and dangerous attacks.
The executive order renames earlier version of the council into the National Maritime Security Council making it the central agency responsible for policies and strategies guaranteeing efficiency of maritime security and awareness.
Manilla and Beijing have exchanged accusations on violations taking place in conflict areas in South China Sea.
China demands almost total control over the Sea dismissing all claims from other countries, including the Philippines.
Relations between Manilla and Beijing have deteriorated during Marcos' administration as he sought to deepen defense relations with United States to counter Chinese attacks against Philippines forces. (end) aab.aai