Palace backs DFA move to ban surveys ships in Philippine waters

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2019

Last week, the Chinese embassy urged the Philippine government to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the country, saying some of them were physically tortured, injured and even murdered.

"Basta kung ano 'yung sinabi ng Department iyon ang policy ng administrasyon unless the President makes another policy statement [The pronouncement of the department is the policy of the administration unless the President makes another policy statement]", Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

Malacañang has supported the move of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to include China in the list of countries whose survey vessels are prohibited in Philippine waters.

The Zhanjian has been operating in the Philippines' EEZ since Saturday while Dong Fang Hong 3 was spotted near northern Luzon on Wednesday, according to Martinson.

It noted that dozens of kidnappings and tortured cases of Chinese citizens who gamble or work illegally in gambling entities in the Philippines have taken place.

This was after a local news site reported about the vessel, adding that it was loaded with passengers of Chinese nationality.

The two countries are jointly cracking down on crimes against Chinese workers in Manila, Philippine Ambassador Chito Sta.

The protest comes ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte's planned visit to Beijing this month, during which he has promised to raise Manila's South China Sea worldwide arbitration victory over Beijing with leader Xi Jinping, having avoided confronting the thorny issue for three years.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue recently discovered an omission of P32 billion in unpaid income taxes from the gambling firms. It collected an initial P186 million in withholding taxes from Philippine offshore gaming operators and expects P170 million in taxes from companies employing foreign nationals.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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