Duterte’s directive on foreign ships ‘a very good development’: defense chief

“I am still trying to figure out what unfriendly manner we can do but that is a very good development because now we have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” National Defense Secrteary Delfin Lorenzana said on August 20.

Secretary Lorenzana said “there are so many things that we can do to be unfriendly – that’s cutting their bow or escorting them. I’m going to defer to the Navy what are unfriendly.” 

The defense chief made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte made the directive that foreign vessels should get clearance from proper Philippine government authority before passing through Philippine territorial waters.

“Either we get a compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement relaying message from the President.

“To avoid misunderstanding in the future, the President is putting on notice that beginning today, all foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage,” Panelo said.