MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will take appropriate measures to safeguard its sovereignty and the livelihood of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza made this position after China reportedly installed barriers southeast of Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.
“China’s reported installation of barriers and its negative impact on the livelihood of Filipino fishermen or any other activity that infringes on the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Philippines in Bajo de Masinloc are violations of international law, especially UNCLOS and the Arbitral award,” Daza said.
“We will take all appropriate measures to protect the sovereignty of our country and the livelihoods of our fishermen,” she stressed.
INQUIRER.net has asked DFA for clarification on what “appropriate measures” will be taken to prevent this event from happening again, but the department has not responded to the query at the time of writing.
China’s reported installation of barriers at Scarborough Shoal took place not long after the Chinese Coast Guard’s alleged harvest and destruction of corals in the Rozul Reef in the Philippines.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague declared in a landmark ruling seven years ago that the Philippines has “exclusive sovereign rights” to the West Philippine Sea, refuting China’s nine-dash claim.
Despite this ruling, Chinese fishing vessels continue to conduct incursions into Philippine waters.
Bajo de Masinloc is a traditional fishing area of Filipinos off the coast of Zambales.
PCG: China installs floating barrier southeast of Bajo de Masinloc
PH must ‘take all appropriate measures’ to remove the barrier at Scarborough