Chinese warships passed through Tawi-tawi without notifying gov't: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Chinese warships passed through the waters of Tawi-tawi without informing the Philippine government.
Lorenzana said the passage of Chinese warship off the waters of Tawi-tawi was confirmed to him by Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua.
“They should inform us if they passed, but they did not. So I was talking to the Chinese Ambassador during the opening of the Senate last SONA (State of the Nation Address) day, and we talked about, I asked him very frankly if indeed the Liaoning passed through Sibutu and he said no, but there are several ships... He knows about the several ships after it happened,” he said.
“It’s not the aircraft carrier (Liaoning)...there are smaller Chinese warships also from the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Navy,” he added.
Lorenzana said foreign nations are required to notify the Philippine government if their Navy vessels will pass through Philippine waters.
“What I’m saying if that is a warship they should inform us...that they are passing but for commercial shipping no need to ask permission because we allow innocent passage,” he said.
Lorenzana said Zhao assured that the Chinese embassy will inform the Philippine government the next time their warship passes through Philippine waters.
“He said that in the future they will require those ships to inform the embassy, the Chinese embassy here in Manila about intended passage in Sibutu and they will inform us,” he said.
Last July 19, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio revealed in a forum that Liaoning aircraft carrier passed through the Sibutu Strait “two to three weeks ago”. Robina Asido/DMS