National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on August 9 that peaceful marine research is not prohibited, however, to allay fears China should inform Philippines.
“The action I would like our government to do, if its true, is to inform or ask the Chinese Embassy what these ships are doing in our EEZ without our knowledge,” Secretary Lorenzana said in interview with ANC’s Headstart.
He said that “as far I’m concerned” the Chinese research vessels did not give prior information.
He noted that “nobody is prevented from doing their research” as long as the Philippines knows what they are doing.
“What we need really is to allay the fears of the neighbors of China, to inform the other countries what their ships are doing there, not only the survey ship, but also their warships passing through our territorial waters,” Lorenzana said.
“If the intention is only to study the sea or the fish, marine life there, then it is not a security threat. But if they’re doing other things like making reconnaissance or surveillance of our positions, then it’s a threat,” Secretary Lorenzana added.