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Solon urges strong protest vs. China over alleged harassment of Pinoy fishers

A lawmaker said the Philippine government should file “a strong diplomatic protest” against China, amid recent reports of “harassment” of some Bataan fishermen by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said he condemns “in the strongest terms” the said “aggressive acts.”

“I further demand that the country through the Department of Foreign Affairs which is the alter ego of the President to file a strong diplomatic protest against China and demand explanation and apology to the country,” he said in a statement.

A recent news report quoted a group of fishermen from Mariveles town in Bataan claiming that a Chinese Coast Guard speedboat circled them near Union Reef and made warning shots to drive them away.

They suspect that the Chinese officers are securing a marine construction site in the area.

Alejano, who filed an impeachment complaint against President Duterte over several grounds, including his "failure" to protect disputed territories, said these acts “constitute a violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity that we must all protect and defend.”

He noted that the area where the fishermen were “is well within our Exclusive Economic Zone.”

“Once and for all let us assert our rights by concrete actions on the ground. Otherwise, other countries particularly China will continue to abuse and disrespect us as a country,” he added.

Both Malacañang and the Department of Foreign Affairs have said they will verify the report. —NB, GMA News