DFA's Locsin rejects opening of 11 archipelagic lanes

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2020 09:32 AM

MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. rejected Monday the Philippine Coast Guard’s insistence on opening 11 archipelagic lanes instead of three. 

In a tweet, Locsin equated opening 11 archipelagic lanes with turning over territorial waters “to the nearest naval power.”

“Why I turned down Coast Guard insistence on opening 11 archipelagic lanes instead of 3 the DA, DND, NSA and other agencies to do with fisheries and marine conservation. With 11, might as well turn over our territorial waters to the nearest naval power. Cheaper than patrolling,” Locsin said. 

The foreign affairs chief was reacting to a news report on the Philippine Navy’s opposition to a plan of the Cavite provincial government to remove the military service command from Sangley Point in Cavite where a Chinese company blacklisted by the US for its role in militarizing the South China Sea is involved in an airport project. 

A proposed archipelagic sealanes bill has been pending in Congress. 

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice has called for its passage “so the President can the designate sea lanes where foreign merchant ships and warships could pass.