China's alleged harvesting of claims in Scarborough is '' violation'': Panelo
Malacanang on Tuesday said China’s alleged harvesting of clams in the Scarborough Shoal is a ''violation'' of the Philippines' sovereignty.
"They are performing acts of ownership. Naturally (it’s a violation), if it's our territory, therefore, it is an affront to our territory and to our sovereignty," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
Panelo made the statement after a report that Chinese vessels are harvesting giant clams in Scarborough Shoal.
This was after it was recently revealed around 200 Chinese vessels were spotted in the area.
Panelo said China as far as it is concerned believe they own the vast South China Sea.
“Hence, logically, it will be performing acts of ownership or sovereignty over those areas. In other words, they are just being consistent with themselves,” he said.
“We also have to be consistent with ours. As far as we’re concerned, that is ours, we will be objecting to any intrusion to our own territory," Panelo added.
In a twitter post, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said they will be taking legal action on the recent activity of China in the waters of the Philippines
“We just caught them doing that recently, filed a diplomatic note, and will be taking legal action. With our legal department now,” Locsin said.
In a separate tweet, Locsin said US "is and will remain our only military ally."
Asked if it is time for the Philippines to tap its allies over the dispute, Panelo said it will be up to the President as it requires “serious study”.
“We will wait on the president’s decision on that… will wait for him. This are very serious matters that requires serious study,” he said.
“This will requires serious study because there may be repercussions on both sides,” he added. Ella Dionisio/DMS