PH to take appropriate measure to protect its sovereignty, says DFA
MANILA, Philippines — Proper actions will be taken by Philippine government to safeguard its sovereignty and the livelihood of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal, said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday.
DFA Spokesperson Teresita Daza made this stand after China reportedly installed barriers southeast of Bajo de Masinloc, otherwise known as Scarborough Shoal.
“China’s reported installation of barriers and its negative impact on the livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk or any other activity that infringes upon the Philippines’ sovereignty and jurisdiction in Bajo de Masinloc are violations of international law, particularly UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award,” said Daza.
“We will take all appropriate measures to protect our country’s sovereignty and the livelihood of our fisherfolk,” she emphasized.
INQUIRER.net has sought DFA’s clarification on what “appropriate measures” will be taken to prevent this event from happening again, but the department has yet to respond to the query as of press time.
China’s reported installation of barriers in Scarborough Shoal transpired not long after the Chinese Coast Guard’s alleged harvesting and destruction of corals in Philippines’ Rozul Reef.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, in a landmark ruling seven years ago, declared Philippines has the “exclusive sovereign rights” to the West Philippine Sea, disproving China’s nine-dash line claim.
Despite this ruling, Chinese fishing vessels continuously commit incursions in Philippine waters.
Bajo de Masinloc is a traditional fishing ground of Filipinos off the coast of Zambales.