Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr told his cabinet colleague, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to "lay off" diplomacy following the Palace mouthpiece's recent comments on China.
Roque said Manila could go to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea after Beijing passed a law that empowers its coast guard to use violence in enforcing maritime claims. Locsin filed a diplomatic protest against the law, calling it a declaration of war.
The tribunal that Roque referred to was the same one that ruled in favor of the Philippines' challenge against China's nine-dash line claim in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea. The decision was handed down in 2016.
"HARRY, just lay off foreign affairs," Locsin said on Twitter.
"I AM NOT LISTENING TO HARRY ROQUE. LOVE THE GUY BUT HE'S NOT COMPETENT IN THIS FIELD. WE DO NOT GO BACK TO The Hague. WE MIGHT LOSE WHAT WE WON. HARRY, LAY OFF," he said.
The Hague in the Netherlands is the base of the tribunal that invalidated China's sea claims in favor of the Philippines.
On Monday, a Chinese survey ship left Catanduanes after seeking refuge there ffor several days due to rough seas, the Philippine Coast Guard said in a report.
The ship, Jia Geng, left Cabugao Bay at sunrise. It had been in Philippine waters since Friday. It's mission was not immediately clear from the Coast Guard report.