By Mario Casayuran
The Philippine government has put on notice all foreign vessels, particularly China-owned, passing through Philippine waters that they must file an advance notice of their passage.
This was revealed Tuesday by neophyte Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ T. Go after coming from Malacanang where he once worked as Special Assistant to President.
Go said he heard President Duterte saying Monday night that all foreign vessels passing through Philippine waters must get an authority to do so.
He later quoted Malacanang spokesman Salvador Panelo as saying that to avoid misunderstanding in the future, ‘’the President is putting on notice beginning today all foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage.’’
‘’Either we get a compliance in friendly manner or enforce it in unfriendly manner,’’ Go said quoting Panelo.
What the President wants, according to Go, is that foreign governments must show respect to the Philippine government.
‘’Kilala naman natin si Pangulo baka pagalitan niya,’’ he added. (We know how the President expresses his anger.)
Asked if there is a need for the Senate to investigate these violations of Philippine maritime laws, Go said he favors if there is such a move.
‘’if needed,’’ he replied to a query if he would ask the Chinese Ambassador to attend any Senate inquiry into the matter.
President Duterte had said he would raise the question of the incursions of Chinese vessels in Philippine waters when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China late this month.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin had fired another diplomatic protest against China’s naval incursions after Chinese ships recently passed through the country’s southwestern seas without advance notice.
Defense officials said the Chinese vessels switched off their identification system during their passage, adding that continued passage by Chinese naval vessels in Philippine territory is getting to be an irritant.
Checking on his calendar, Go said President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet on August 29 in Beijing.
Go said the President was also invited to the opening of FIBA world in China on August 30.
‘’Ako rin imbitado dahil sa chairman ng Senate sports committee as team adviser ng Pilipinas Gilas,’’ he said. (I was also invited as chairman of the Senate sports committee as team adviser of Pilipinas Gilas.)
‘’Invited ako to join the team sa Game 1. Manood ang Pangulo vs Italy on August 31 naman po,’’ he added. (I was invited to join Game 1. The President will attend the game with Italy on August 31.’’