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Duterte to foreign vessels passing thru PH waters: Get clearance from gov’t first

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has required all foreign vessels prior authorization before entering the country’s territorial waters.

“To avoid misunderstanding in the future, the President is putting on notice that beginning today, all foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage,” Duterte’s mouthpiece Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday.

Panelo said foreign vessels who failed to give notice will be dealt with in an “unfriendly manner.”

“Either they comply in a friendly manner or we will enforce it in an unfriendly manner. We’ll have to stop them and tell them to move out,” according to him.

“Before we never said anything, we just allow them and just make protest. But this time, we will tell them, please get out of our territorial waters. That’s very unfriendly because we have not done that before,” he added.

Asked what prompted Duterte to issue such order, the chief presidential legal counsel said: “The President did not say so. But there has been repeated passing through without our being notified by some foreign vessels, particularly the Chinese warships.”

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