Statement of the OIC, DND on the monitored presence of foreign vessels
Wed | December 14, 2022

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     The Department of National Defense views with great concern the reported swarming of Chinese vessels in Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

     The President’s directive to the Department is clear — we will not give up a single square inch of Philippine territory. We continue to conduct routine maritime and aerial patrols in the WPS. Information gathered in these patrols are submitted to relevant authorities for appropriate action.

     Our lines remain open to dialogue. However, we maintain that activities which violate our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, and undermine the peace and stability of the region, are unacceptable.

     The Philippines remains committed to maintaining a rules-based order in the West Philippine Sea and the larger South China Sea, and reserves the right to deal with any situation that violates or threatens our territorial integrity and sovereignty.


Jose C. Faustino, Jr.
Senior Undersecretary / Officer-in-Charge
Department of National Defense