MANILA, Philippines — The floating barriers installed by the China Coast Guard (CCG) southeast of Bajo de Masinloc may be removed if these barricades are within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said.
Remulla refers to the information from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
PCG had reported the sighting of the barriers on Sunday.
Some personnel were able to see and video CCG boats imposing the blockades off the coast of Zambales.
“Well, if it falls within our economic zone, exclusive economic zone, then we will simply declare that it is so and that it is a violation of our right to exclusive economic zone, and we can remove the same,” Remulla said in a presser briefing.
“They are interfering with something that has been granted to us in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” he explained.
“If it falls within our exclusive economic zone, it is an interference in our activities,” he stressed.
However, Remulla said it will still depend on the executive’s decision on how to legally handle the incident.
He will meet with officials from the Department of State and the Office of the Solicitor General to further discuss the West Philippine Sea dispute.
The floating barriers – about 300 meters long – are reportedly intended to prevent Philippine fishing boats from entering the shoal, PCG said.
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