China incursion to PH territory, against own policy – Maritime Expert

Marje Pelayo

Any country who wishes to enter the Philippine territory needs to seek permission from the Philippine government.

“Hindi dapat tayo pumayag niyan pag may ganoong klaseng pagpasok ng foreign ships (We should not allow such intrusion by foreign ships) ,” said Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

“Hindi lang dapat sa (Not only) China but any ship maybe Taiwanese ship, Korean ship, Japanese ship. They should coordinate with our navy, AFP, with our government with the DFA,” he explained further in reaction to the alleged unauthorized passage of Chinese warships in Sibutu Strait.

Zubiri said it is high time to strengthen the capabilities of the Philippine Navy in order to safeguard the country’s territorial waters.

“May bago tayong barko na darating, two Korean frigates galing sa South Korea,” said Zubiri.

“Iyan (ay) makakatulong sa ating Navy personnel para sa pagpapatrolya ng ating napakalawak na archipelago,” he added.

Sibutu Strait is an international waterway near Tawi-Tawi, south of the Philippines.

On his Facebook page, Professor Jay Batongbacal, the Director of the U.P. Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, explained that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) innocent passages of warships are allowed in the Philippine territorial seas.

“Passage is innocent as long as it is ‘not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State’ and should take place ‘in conformity with the Convention and other rules of international law,’” the maritime law expert said.

Batongbacal said: “The Philippines’ position, historically, has been that warships should at least provide notification prior to entering the Philippine territorial seas/inter-island waters.”

But the entry of the Chinese warships without prior notice, he said, is against their own policy for their own waters which demonstrates a “double standard” on the part of the Chinese.

“The Chinese warships’ actions of passing through without even acknowledging the Philippine queries, therefore, runs counter to the Philippines’ legitimate maritime safety regulations,” Prof. Batongbacal concluded. – MNP (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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