Locsin on Roque's Julian Felipe Reef quote: Leave foreign matters to DFA

By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: South China Morning Post

After Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dropped some remarks about the Julian Felipe Reef dispute, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said the spokesperson should leave foreign matters to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

"My God just came in on a very early flight; all this was settled last night: somebody dropped the ball of possession; later he picked up the paper of maritime features not generating their own EEZ just in case we drop the ball of possession yet again and lose our EEZ. Now, this?" Locsin said in a tweet.

Locsin then added that "when it comes to foreign affairs, the DFA has the exclusive remit."

Roque later said that he and Locsin have talked and agreed that he may talk about international laws.

"Nagkasundo rin po kami na patuloy pa rin na dapat ako ay magsalita sa larangan ng international law," he added.

Aside from Locsin, Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Koko Pimentel have also spoken regarding Roque's statement.

Pimentel said that the executive branch should "follow a script written by the DFA."

Meanwhile, Pangilinan asked if Roque is getting his salary from China.

Roque earlier said that the Julian Felipe Reef was "never" in possession of the country and that it is beyond the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

However, Roque stressed that the country has never abandoned the claim to the reef as it was pronounced as part of the Kalayaan Group of Islands under the Presidential Decree of former President Ferdinand Marcos.


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