MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Monday he has banned marine survey ships even of China, saying granting exception to one country “will automatically lift ban universally” and will “invite bribes.”
“I banned marine survey ships, amending restriction to France & Japan by adding China. To pick & choose invites suspicion of favoritism. Will universalize the ban. Period. Granting exception to one country will automatically lift ban universally. Exceptions invite bribes,” Locsin said in a tweet, in reaction to Panelo’s statement that there is nothing wrong with seeking US assistance in monitoring the country’s EEZ.
Locsin said he wanted to see the “academic qualifications of the UP guys looking for a cruise” when asked in a tweet by maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal if Philippine maritime scientific research was allowed.
Batongbacal said “UP had taken initiative of organizing MSR projects but also got banned because we invited foreign scientists or asked to use foreign ships. We end up losing opportunities 4 tech transfer & experience.”
Locsin said however he would not allow "PoliSigh and the rest of that mushy crap."
This exchange came after reports that two Chinese ships were recently seen operating in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Chinese oceanographic survey ships Zhanjian and Dong Fang Hong 3 have been conducting marine scientific research in the country's EEZ this week, according to Ryan Martinson, an assistant professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College.
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.