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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

PH won’t recognize China regulation — DFA

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The Philippines will not recognize China’s new regulation allowing its Coast Guard to detain trespassers over waters which it claims jurisdiction, including the South China Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Wednesday said.

“They could make the announcement, but we don’t recognize this,” Manalo said.

The Philippine Navy likewise called the new regulation, reportedly set to take effect next month, as “unacceptable.”

“Not only the Philippine Navy but the entire government and nation will not allow this, based on the pronouncement of our commander-in-chief that this is totally unacceptable,” Navy spokesperson Commodore Roy Trinidad said.

Chinese media earlier reported that Beijing adopted a measure permitting the Chinese Coast Guard to interrogate and detain for up to 60 days foreigners accused of illegally passing its waters.

Manalo further described China’s new regulation as having “no legal basis.”

“What’s even more worrying is that it doesn’t only affect the Philippines — it will affect every country in the world, theoretically,” he said.

Manalo added that in light of “many issues that have come up recently,” the current relationship between the Philippines and China is “a bit choppy.”

It continues to assert its dominance over the South China Sea, including a portion of the country’s exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, despite an arbitral ruling in 2016 that invalidated its massive claim.

As this developed, the House of Representatives committed to allocate ample budgetary resources to agencies safeguarding the West Philippine Sea amid ongoing Chinese provocations within the country’s EEZ.

House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe emphasized the Lower Chamber’s consistent support for modernization initiatives presented annually in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) by the executive department.

“When the House members see that there is really a need to support these modernization programs… we not just support the programs, but we even add to what we see during the budget deliberations that are lacking when they present the NEP,” he said.

“Rest assured that when the budget season comes this August, September, the House of Representatives, as always and as expected, will be in full support to the [Philippine Coast Guard], to the Philippine Navy or any agency that is tasked to help protect our sovereignty,” Dalipe added.

The Department of Budget and Management is expected to submit the 2025 NEP to Congress soon after President Marcos delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

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