Speaker Romualdez sounds alarm on Chinese vessels in Philippine Rise, asserts territorial integrity

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday expressed deep concern over the reported presence of Chinese vessels “loitering” and conducting research activities within the Philippine Rise, which is well within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EZZ).

Speaker Romualdez declared that the Philippine Rise is an integral part of the nation’s territory and emphasized that any unauthorized presence or activities by foreign vessels in the area undermine the country’s sovereign rights.

“The Philippines will not compromise its territorial integrity or allow any encroachment upon its sovereign rights. Philippine Rise is unquestionably within our EZZ, and we will assert our authority to safeguard our maritime domain,” Speaker Romualdez said.

The leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives also underscored the importance of Philippine Rise, both ecologically and economically.

“The Philippine Rise is a vital marine resource rich in biodiversity and potential for scientific research, as well as economic opportunities for our country. We must protect and harness its full potential for the benefit of the Filipino people,” the Speaker said.

Addressing the issue of Chinese vessels conducting research activities in the Philippine Rise without proper authorization, Speaker Romualdez emphasized the need for transparency and adherence to international laws and protocols.

“We call on all nations to respect the rights of coastal states, uphold the principles of international law, and refrain from any activities that undermine regional stability and maritime security,” he stressed.

The Speaker also expressed his confidence in the Philippine government’s commitment to safeguarding the country’s interests and ensuring the rule of law in the region.

“The Philippine government remains steadfast in its duty to protect our sovereignty and preserve our national interest. We will work closely with relevant agencies to address this issue effectively and assert our rights within the bounds of international law,” he said.

Speaker Romualdez likewise reaffirmed the country’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and protecting its sovereign rights in the face of any unauthorized activities by foreign vessels within its EZZ.

“The Philippines will not back down or yield an inch of its territory. We will continue to assert our rights over the Philippine Rise and any other maritime areas that belong to us under international law,” Speaker Romualdez pointed out.

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