Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday rejected the attempt of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to post a coast guard attaché at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.
“I see no reason for it. We have a Defense attaché for National Defense Issues, a separate Coast Guard—I’m reading my own tweet—attaché means we concede…Washington request…I also rejected this. No need for them to be there,” Locsin said during an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source program.
Locsin had earlier dismissed the PCG’s application to send a coast guard attaché in Beijing citing its repercussions in the brewing conflict in the South China Sea.
“That means that the Coast Guard, which basically interdicts Chinese incursions, will now take it upon itself to be in Beijing and whenever the Chinese want to make a naval movement and anywhere within our territory, they can discuss it with the Coast Guard?” the secretary said.
He argued that the Coast Guard, an agency under the Department of Transportation, is an “instrumentality of the policy” from relevant departments involved in defense and national security matters.
“Excuse me, no, you only discuss it with me. And I discuss it only with (Defense Secretary Delfin) Lorenzana and (National Security Adviser Hermogenes) Jun Esperon. The Coast Guard is an instrumentality of the policy we make; they do not make policies,” Locsin said.
In a tweet on Thursday night, Locsin said the PCG recently applied for the assignment of a coast guard attaché in the United States.
“The Washington request is likewise rejected and don’t ever go behind my back. We don’t share a coastline with the US like Canada does. So no, nunca, never,” he said.