Protection of West PH Sea ‘already top concern’ of gov’t: Palace


Posted at May 04 2019 11:49 PM

MANILA—The protection of marine life in the West Philippine Sea is already a "top concern" of the government, Malacañang said Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after the Supreme Court issued on Friday a writ of kalikasan in response to a petition.

He said the Office of the President has yet to receive a copy of the writ, but that the executive branch has no issue with it.

"In any case, we note that the writ was issued to prevent violations of our environmental laws in our territorial waters and in our exclusive economic zone located in the subject areas," he said.

Panelo, however, contested the claim that there was "inaction" on the government regarding Chinese activities in the disputed sea.

"Our coast guards, as well as other government agencies, are performing their task in securing the subject of the writ," he said.

Panelo added that government has "promptly made a series of diplomatic protests . . . to assert our rights," while being cautious not to trigger armed hostilities with other claimants.