The Department of National Defense (DND) released an official statement on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 about the news circulating online that a Chinese vessel allegedly dumped human waste in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said that the photo of a ship seen dumping waste accompanying the report was found to have been taken in the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 2014.
“Therefore, this intent to mislead has cast great doubt on the accurateness of the Simularity Report.” he added.
Lorenzana directed the Western Command who has jurisdiction over the WPS to verify and investigate.
“While we are confirming and verifying these wastes being dumped in the WPS, we consider such irresponsible acts, if true, to be gravely detrimental to the marine ecology in the area. Despite conflicting claims and interests by states in the South China Sea, all nations must be responsible stewards of our natural resources and environment.” Lorenzana said in a statement.
Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez, Commander, Western Command AFP said that all WESCOM units are already tasked to be vigilant on such incidents to the WPS.
“The WESCOM continue to undertake all necessary interventions, in conjunction with interagency efforts, to ensure natural and environmental preservation and conservation in the WPS.” he added in a statement.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will test the water quality in the WPS.
“Since there is an allegation na ganyan ang nangyari ay ipapacheck natin ‘yan at titingnan natin kung ano ang pinakamalapit na lugar na pwedeng makakuha ng water sampling.” DENR Usec. Benny Antiporda said in a press briefing on Wednesday, July 14.