“I understand from Foreign Secretary Locsin, it’s not a Filipino ship. It’s a foreign vessel, only manned by a Filipino captain,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador Panelo said in press conference on November 3 held in Nonthaburi, Thailand when asked for comment regarding the Liberian-flagged tanker Green Aura incident in Scarborough Shoal.
However, Panelo agreed on statement of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that the “Chinese government must respect international maritime laws if it wants to earn the respect of the international community.”
Panelo also said that “in a way, it’s not our concern, because it’s not a Philippine vessel.”
He explained that “for as long as they do not touch the Philippine ship or vessel, it would be the concern of that country that carries the flag of that particular vessel.”
Secretary Lorenzana also called on “all countries to exercise prudence and respect freedom of navigation and passage in the WPS. Bajo de Masinloc is well within the Philippine EEZ, and the 2016 arbitral ruling declared that it is a common fishing area.”