MANILA -- The local government of Zambales should have prevented illegal dredging activities of Chinese nationals in the town of Masinloc, Malacañang said Thursday.
Seven undocumented Chinese nationals were arrested Wednesday over the dredging activities.
"That means illegal. The Zambales government should have done something about it," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters.
"The local government of Zambales should take responsibility for that," he said, noting that the Chinese nationals should be prosecuted.
Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Chinese nationals were "seriously threatening national security and interest by stealing our minerals and resources."