(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte wants foreign vessels passing through the country’s territorial waters to seek Manila’s permission first “well in advance.”
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, non-compliance may force the Philippines to act in an “unfriendly manner.”
“Before we never said anything, we just allow them and make protest but this time we will tell them ‘Please get out of our territory,'” Panelo said.
“That’s very unfriendly because we have not done it before,” he added.
On Monday, Aug. 19, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered the filing of a diplomatic protest over the passage of Chinese warships through Sibutu Strait.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command, had said two Chinese warships were seen in July.
Three, he said, were seen in August.
According to the Sobejana, theirs was not an innocent passage as, instead of going on a straight line, the warships went on a curved trajectory.
Lorenzana said the warships also had their identification systems off.