Malacanang : West PH Sea ‘top concern' of gov't

Malacanang : West PH Sea ‘top concern' of gov't

There will be no blunder like what former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario did for the country in the West Philippine Sea.
Malacanang said that the protection of the West Philippine Sea is already a "top concern" of the government, denying that they are remiss in their responsibility in responding to the Chinese activity in the area.
Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Salvador Panelo emphasized the stand of the Duterte administration after the supreme Court (SC) issued a writ of Kalikasan for the protection and preservation of three shoals within the country's territory in the WPS.

West Philippine Sea (photo credit to CNN Phils)

"We stress that the essence of such writ of kalikasan, which is the protection of the marine ecosystem of the West Philippine Sea is already a top concern and agenda of the government," Panelo said in a statement released on Saturday night (May 4).
A writ of Kalikasan is issued to prevent violations of environmental laws in Philippine territorial waters and in the exclusive economic zone, specifically the Panatag Shoal, Ayungin Shoal, and Mischief Reef.
"We take exception, however, to the contention that there has been inaction on the part of the administration with regard to the environmental concerns brought about by Chinese activities in the contested areas," Panelo said.
He said the Coast Guard and other government agencies are performing their task in securing the subject of the writ.
Panelo has noted the unwanted incursions were done on those areas identified as “contested areas”, Panelo noted that the government has already filed a series of diplomatic protest against China, but insisted against performing "provocative acts" that would harm diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"While we promptly made a series of diplomatic protests using the mechanism of diplomacy to assert our rights, we also undertook protective measures even as we are consciously cautious not to perform provocative acts that may trigger armed hostilities between the contesting countries which may risk the lives of our countrymen and cost irreparable damage to our land," Panelo said.
Thee Duterte administration will continue to assert the sovereignty of the country and protect its environment.
"Whatever the outcome of the petition, we assure the nation that this administration is committed to protect the sovereignty of our country and the protection of our marine environment against any and all who will attempt to assault or violate them," Panelo said.

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Report from PNA

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