DFA Urges Diplomats to Respect the Law and Avoid Interference

Spread the love

Diplomats Should Respect Laws and Avoid Interfering in Internal Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) emphasized the importance of diplomats respecting the laws and refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of their host country. This statement came in response to the release of a transcript by the Chinese embassy, claiming to be a phone conversation between a Chinese diplomat and a Filipino military officer.

The Chinese embassy alleged that Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command, agreed to a “new model” for managing the dispute over Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal. However, the DFA cautioned the public against falling for false narratives and urged them to exercise caution in interpreting the released transcript.

China Coast Guard Vessel Dispatched to Iroquois Reef

Amidst the controversy surrounding the audio recording, reports emerged that a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel had been dispatched to Rozul (Iroquois) Reef, located 125 nautical miles off Palawan within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. It was speculated that the vessel was sent to oppose a Philippine Coast Guard ship that had been patrolling the area for the past two days.

Satellite monitoring conducted by Sealight, a maritime transparency project, confirmed the dispatch of CCG 4202 to confront the Philippine Coast Guard ship, BRP Cabra, at Rozul Reef. Colonel Ray Powell, the director of Sealight, expressed his hope of obtaining satellite pictures of both vessels from May 8 to shed further light on the situation.

Adherence to the Vienna Convention

In response to the actions of the Chinese embassy, the DFA stressed the importance of diplomats adhering to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, specifically referencing Article 41. This article emphasizes that all individuals must respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and refrain from interfering in its internal affairs.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. criticized the Chinese embassy for violating the anti-wiretapping law or Republic Act 4200 by releasing the audio recording. The DFA stated that such tactics could potentially sow discord and confusion among Philippine agencies and the Filipino public.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Li Jian, accused the Philippines of damaging its own credibility and jeopardizing peace and stability in the South China Sea by denying the phone conversation between the Chinese diplomat and Carlos. Li argued that the facts were clear and supported by hard evidence, which the Philippines was attempting to deny and mislead the international community about.

The Chinese embassy in Manila shared the transcript of Li’s press conference, further highlighting their stance on the matter. Li urged the Philippines to honor its commitments, cease maritime infringement and provocation, and return to the path of resolving disputes with China through dialogue and consultation.

It is worth noting that Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos was on leave on the day the audio recording was released, and it remains uncertain whether the voice on the tape belongs to him. The DFA clarified that no cabinet-level official from the Marcos administration had agreed to any Chinese proposal concerning Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. The DFA emphasized that only the President of the Republic of the Philippines has the authority to approve or authorize agreements related to the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea.

In conclusion, it is crucial for diplomats to respect the laws and regulations of their host country and refrain from interfering in its internal affairs. The release of the audio recording and the dispatching of a China Coast Guard vessel to Iroquois Reef have further escalated tensions in the region. Adherence to international conventions, such as the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, is essential for maintaining diplomatic relations and resolving disputes through peaceful means.

Source: The Manila Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *