“We need to verify the location of where these dredging activities are and if any new similar activities have been conducted,” Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing on Thursday. “If verified, these could be used as additional information that can be included in our petition before the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations.”
Mr. Coloma made these remarks after Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio on Wednesday said that China is dredging 10 reefs, in an area that is being claimed by both the Philippines and China as well as other countries.
The damage of reefs is one of the principal claims presented by the Philippines before the Permanent Court of Arbitration earlier this month.
In his statement at the Hague in Netherlands on July 7, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario said China has “irreversibly damaged the regional marine environment, in breach of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), by its destruction of coral reefs in the South China Sea, including areas within the Philippines’ EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), by its destructive and hazardous fishing practices, and by its harvesting of endangered species.”