The foreign affairs department will look into reports of “illegal and unlawful activities by diplomatic officials” to the Philippines and “undertake necessary action in line with existing laws and regulations.”

In a statement issued on Monday, May 13, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) emphasized that while foreign diplomats are granted the necessary freedoms to perform their duties in the Philippines, they are expected to conduct themselves with “the highest standards of integrity and professionalism” to assure mutually positive outcomes.

The department’s pronouncement came following calls to expel the Chinese diplomat who allegedly wiretapped a conversation with Western Command Chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos regarding the supposed “new model” for the rotation and resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

A transcript of this conversation was revealed by the unnamed diplomat, prompting defense officials to state that it was doubtful and, if true, constituted wiretapping, which is illegal in the Philippines.

“Being a strong advocate of rules-based governance, the Philippine Government is firm and united in respecting and upholding the rule of law in both the domestic and international milieus. It is in this context that the Philippines — as a responsible member of the international community of nations — has consistently called for adherence to international law, including the United Nations Charter, the Vienna Conventions governing inter-state relations, and in the maritime domain the 1982 UNCLOS, among others,” the DFA stated.

The DFA added that it will remain focused on advancing cooperation with all countries.