Locsin on 2012 Scarborough standoff : 'Why withdraw the ship?'

Locsin on 2012 Scarborough standoff : 'Why withdraw the ship?'


It’s a simple question.


Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. continuos to ask the former administration the very reason why sis the country’s ship in Scarborough Shoal during the 2012 stand off with China.


"If you believe, your government at that time believes that that is yours, why will you withdraw?" Locsin asked during the Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night.

(photo credit to owner)

"[W]hy did we yield possession? And that’s, I think, the first thing you must ask. Who gave the order to withdraw that ship? Because it is from there that we start having the problems that are separate -- actually a separate issue from the arbitral award," he added.

In 2012 base on surveillance the Philippine Navy sent BRP Gregorio Del Pilar upon spotting 8 Chinese vessels anchored inside the lagoon.


Upon boarding and inspection, large amount of illegally collected corals, giant clams, and live sharks are in the compartments.


At the time, two Chinese maritime surveillance ships managed to position themselves between the Philippine warship and the Chinese fishing vessels preventing the navy from arresting the poachers -- the start of a tense standoff over the shoal, which is well within the Philippine exclusive economic zone. Eventually, the Philippine ship withdrew.


Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario last week explained that the United States brokered a deal for both nations to simultaneously pull out the ships but Chinese President Xi Jinping "deceitfully breached" the deal.


In his reply, Locsin said the act of the US was merely "to try to stop people from attacking each other" because it cannot force the Philippines nor China to withdraw in the first place.

"Now, if you believe, your government at that time believes that is yours, why will you withdraw? These are only good offices of the United States, it is a suggestion, 'I think you should both withdraw.' So what you should have done --- I don’t want to say that like I know better after the fact --- but the truth is, if I --- if I have UNCLOS on my side saying we are within the exclusive economic zone and the Chinese ship is not, from my point of view, then I would say, I’ll just look at the other side and say go. When you go, I’ll go but you go first. Instead, our side withdrew," he said.

"So what happens to our claim that this is ours? You just gave it up," he added.




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Report from PNA


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