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Lorenzana seeks protest over presence of 2 Chinese survey ships in PH EEZ

/ 10:51 AM August 09, 2019
Lorenzana seeks protest over presence of 2 Chinese survey ships in PH EEZ

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. INQUIRER.net file photo / Frances Mangosing

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said he will recommend the filing of protest concerning the reported presence of two Chinese survey ships in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“I will ask the Department of Foreign Affairs to make a protest again, or an explanation what they are doing there,” he said in an interview with ABS CBN News Channel.

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“Everytime there is a research [vessel] of other countries passing by — the US, Japanese, French — when they are doing survey here they allow our marine scientists to board to find out what they are doing there,” he said.

Two Chinese survey ships have been recently spotted operating within the Philippines’ EEZ by Ryan Martinson, an assistant professor at US Naval War College, who posted the satellite tracking of the vessels on Twitter this week.

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Martinson tweeted that one was spotted operating 80 nautical miles off the east coast of the Philippines, while the other was in the northern part near Pagudpud.

But Lorenzana said the Philippines is not equipped with enough capability to fully track the 2 Chinese survey ships.

“Other agencies like US and other countries which have satellites, they can monitor,” he said.

“What I would like our government to do is to ask the Chinese embassy what the ships are doing without our knowledge,” he added.

He said the Chinese were not being prevented to do their research as long as they inform the Philippine government in advance.

“What we need is to allay the fears of the neighbors of China, is to inform the other countries what their ships are doing there. Not only the survey ship, but also their warships passing through our territorial waters,” he said. /jpv

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