We need no one’s okay to resupply our ship — DFA

August 24, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 193 views

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said the rotation and resupply missions to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal are activities of the Philippines within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) thus, does not need approval from other countries.

DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza’s statement was issued after Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian criticized the Philippines following reports that the delivery of building materials to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal was completed on Tuesday.

“The rotation and resupply missions to the BRP Sierra Madre are legitimate and routine activities in our EEZ,” Daza said.

She stressed: “the Philippines’ exercise of its sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction within our maritime zones is not subject to any other country’s approval. This is the norm.”

In a forum, Huang claimed that there had been no problem with the delivery of humanitarian supplies because there’s a special arrangement for it until the Philippine side carried large-scale building materials.

On August 5, Chinese vessels used water cannons on one of two Philippine vessels to prevent them from completing their resupply mission.

Ayungin Shoal, which is within the Philippines EEZ, is part of China’s sweeping claims over the resource-rich South China Sea and is covered in its so-called nine-dash-line.

The Philippines is hosting the 40th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea Aug. 22 to 24 in Manila.

Huang said China is ready to work with ASEAN countries to accelerate the negotiation on a code of conduct at an early date to “reach a regional norm that is effective, substantive, and in line with international law, including the UNCLOS.”

Daza said like China, Manila is committed to the early conclusion of an “effective and substantive” COC to prevent incidents like what happened in Ayungin Shoal.