Tarriela: Vietnam minds its own affairs, not harassing Filipino fishers

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 11:43 PM June 09, 2024

PCG spokesperson, Commodore Jay Tarriela —Inquirer file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Vietnam is focused on “minding its own affairs” and does not harass Filipino fisherfolk in the West Philippine Sea, an official of the Philippine Coast Guard said on Sunday, amid reports of the former’s increased dredging and landfill work in the South China Sea (SCS).

“Vietnam focuses on minding their own affairs and reclaiming maritime features they occupied before the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the SCS,” Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, told reporters on Sunday.

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“They do not engage in harassing our fishermen or illegally deploying coast guard vessels and maritime militia in the waters surrounding our occupied maritime features,” he added.

Likewise, Jay Batongbacal, head of the Institute of Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the University of the Philippines College of Law, said that “unlike China, Vietnam is not interfering with [or] preventing us from using our exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, nor have they made provocative and aggressive moves against us.”

Based on a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (Amti), Vietnam has created 280 new hectares (ha) of land since November last year, compared to 163 ha created in the first 11 months of 2023 and 140 ha in 2022.

The report further revealed that Vietnam’s reclamation works in the SCS have reached 955 ha, about half of China’s 1,882 ha.

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TAGS: Philippine Coast Guard, South China Sea, Vietnam

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