The Philippines on Tuesday warned it would enforce in
an "unfriendly manner" a diplomatic protocol that foreign vessels
passing through the country's territorial waters must give prior
notice or gain clearance from the government.
The warning came after a series of sightings by the Philippine military of Chinese warships in the country's territorial waters. The vessels did not respond to inquiries from military officers and had given no prior notice to the government of their passage.
"To avoid misunderstanding in the future, the president is putting on notice that beginning today, all foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of actual passage," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
"Either we get compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner," he added. There was no immediate comment from the Chinese embassy in Manila. At least five Chinese warships have been spotted passing through a strait in the southern Philippines in separate incidents since July, according to Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, a regional military commander.
Sobejana said the Philippine military tried to contact the warships when they were spotted in Sibutu Passage, but the Chinese did not respond. China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military-capable facilities in the area. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to the sea.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Life taking 'toll on my health': Philippines' Duterte
WH budget official testifies in Trump impeachment probe
Chinese soldiers help clean up HK streets
Palace will not seek extra powers for infrastructure programme
Police to crack down on illegal use of sirens
Former governor found guilty of graft and malversation
ICC approves probe into Myanmar Rohingya abuse
Protesters blockade universities in Hong Kong
Bomber dies in attack outside police office in Indonesia