Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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Palace won’t sue China over damaged reefs at Panatag Shoal: Madadaan ‘yan sa usapan!

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The administration will not file a case against China over the destroyed coral reefs at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal despite National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.’s admission that Chinese fishermen were responsible for defiling the marine environment.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will just raise the issue during the bilateral consultation mechanism (BCM) with China, which happens twice a year.

“Filing a new case against China will reverse our diplomatic gains, not to mention the cost it entails. We can therefore discuss the issue of destroyed coral reefs in Scarborough Shoal as this forms part of the area of maritime environmental protection instead of filing a new case,” he said in a statement Wednesday (June 13).

Roque said the administration is a firm believer in diplomacy and that negotiations with China yields positive results.

“We have had continuous discussions on environmental issues with China and both countries are committed to protecting and preserving the environment and to deal strictly with those who do not abide by relevant regulations,” he said.

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio had urged the government to sue China over the damaged coral reefs before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Netherlands.

The next BCM is expected to happen in July.

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