Duterte warns he’ll order navy to fire if sea wealth taken

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Manila:┬áThe Philippine president says he has no intention of going into war over territorial feuds but will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from waters within his country’s exclusive economic zone.

President Rodrigo Duterte told a news conference yesterday that the Philippines could not fight more powerful nations like the United States and China but warned that “if you get something there from the economic zone, I will order the navy to fire.”

Duterte was referring to the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, a stretch of sea where coastal states have been granted exclusive rights to exploit natural resources under a 1982 UN treaty.

Duterte recently stopped all foreign scientific research missions in Benham Rise to stress Philippine sovereign rights over the off-shore region.

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