DFA vows ‘necessary action’ vs foreign envoys linked to illegal acts

DFA vows ‘necessary action’ vs foreign envoys linked to illegal acts

/ 05:20 AM May 14, 2024

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—Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it would investigate and take “necessary action” against foreign diplomats linked to illegal activities, nearly a week after the Chinese Embassy claimed to have a recording of a phone call in which a senior Filipino military official supposedly agreed in January to Beijing’s demands on a “new model” for managing the situation on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and National Security Adviser Eduardo Año earlier accused China of disinformation and called on the DFA to expel the Chinese diplomats who violated Philippine laws against wiretapping as well as international diplomatic protocol.


READ: China embassy’s ‘barking’ violates wiretapping law if claims true — Teodoro


The military official in question, Western Command chief Vice Adm. Alberto Carlos, has since gone on leave. He did not respond to China’s claim that he agreed in the supposed phone conversation with a Chinese diplomat to notify China about resupply missions and not to bring construction materials to Ayungin.

“Foreign diplomats accredited to the Philippines are accorded the necessary liberties to conduct their diplomatic duties, with the expectation that they, in turn, will conduct their diplomatic activities with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism, in pursuit of common interests and mutually beneficial outcomes,” the DFA said in a statement Monday.

It warned that it would “look into any reports of illegal and unlawful activities by diplomatic officials, and undertake necessary action in line with existing laws and regulations.”

The DFA said the Philippines has “consistently called for adherence to international law,” including the United Nations Charter, the Vienna Convention on international relations and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

Its comments were in response to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on May 10 dismissing the two Philippine officials’ call for the expulsion of involved Chinese diplomats.

“We ask the Philippines to ensure that Chinese diplomats can carry out their duty normally, and to stop provocations and infringements,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian had said in a press conference, with the English translation provided by the Chinese Embassy.


China’s diplomatic offensive followed its coast guard’s increasingly aggressive actions, including the use of dangerous water cannon attacks, against Philippine Coast Guard and civilian vessels since last year in Ayungin and Bajo de Masinloc (Panatag or Scarborough Shoal).

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TAGS: Ayungin, Bajo de Masinloc, DFA, Unclos

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