PH not a target of the Chinese Coast Guard Law –Sta. Romana

Published February 16, 2021, 8:22 PM

by Roy Mabasa

China has reassured that they are not targeting the Philippines or any other country in the implementation of their controversial new Coast Guard law, Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Chito Sta. Romana said on Tuesday.

Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Chito Sta. Romana

This comes after the Philippines filed a diplomatic note against China last month over the passage of a law that allows the Chinese coast guard to fire on foreign vessels.

“The Chinese have tried to reassure that they will exercise restraint. This is what we are calling for, that all claimant countries resort to diplomacy and avoid the use of force,” Sta. Romana said in a press briefing. 

The Filipino envoy explained that the Philippines, through the diplomatic note it filed, have clearly told Beijing the objections in terms of the language about the use of force and the application of the law outside China’s territory or within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). 

He also belied allegations made by Sen. Francis Tolentino that there were lapses on his part for not monitoring the developments on the passage of the coast guard law.

“That is not true. Of course, it’s confidential but we have monitored it since November. We wrote two reports – one in November, one in December when the law was being deliberated, and we subsequently have filed another report as it was passed,” he said. 

On Jan. 27, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced that the Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over Beijing’s passage of the coast guard law, calling it a “verbal threat of war” to any country that will defy it.