‘Our hope is that the international community…would understand our position and support not only the Philippines, but other countries, in ensuring that we have adherence to a rules based order,’ says Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo
MANILA, Philippines – At a premier security conference in Munich, Germany, Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo drew attention to China’s increasing harassment of Philippine vessels in the South China Sea, describing it as an occurrence that now formed part of the “daily situation” in the volatile waterway.
“On a day-to-day basis, there are still many events occurring in the South China Sea, and there are daily incidents – at least as far as we see it – cases of harassment or land reclamation, which, in many cases, have been depriving the Philippines of the use of our exclusive economic zone,” Manalo said.
Manalo’s comments at the Munich Security Conference came just days after the Philippine Coast Guard disclosed that a China Coast Guard ship used a military-grade laser against the BRP Malapascua near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The incident, which had raised tensions, prompted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to summon Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian – a first by a Philippine leader in recent years.