PH files diplomatic protest vs. China over WPS aggressions


The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China following its recent aggressions at  Scarborough Shoal and Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

At a Palace press briefing, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that a demarche has also been made by the Philippine Embassy in Beijing following the recent incidents. 

“Yes, we used the maritime communication mechanism and it was used yesterday at 12 o' clock noon, the Department of Foreign Affairs launched its diplomatic protest with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs through a phone call,” DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza said.

“In terms of the demarche undertaken by our Philippine Embassy in Beijing, yes we confirm that our Philippine Embassy in Beijing has made a demarche to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials yesterday concerning the Bajo de Masinloc incident,” Daza added.

Further, she said that Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian would be summoned later this afternoon “to protest the incident.” As regards the call to declare Huang as persona non grata, Daza said this should be “seriously considered.”

“If you do something or say something that is unwelcome, then you can be subject to what they call persona non grata but with this case, I think it's something that we'll have to be seriously considered whether the incidents or the series of incidents merit having him a persona non grata,” Daza explained.

She said that envoys should enhance relations between countries and not divide them.

“We're calling that [he] actually assumes, that he will try to do his best to actually enhance relations between the two countries,” Daza said.

To recall, Chinese vessels rammed and water cannoned Philippine vessels that were on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

The NTF-WPS over the weekend reported the harassment and dangerous maneuvers by the China Coast Guard (CCG) and the Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM) on the resupply mission



National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said that the “use of water cannons numerous times, long-range acoustic devices or LRADs, as well as other movements against the BFAR vessels which caused severe, though temporary discomfort and incapacitation to some Filipino crew, as well as dangerous and unsafe maneuvers is completely unacceptable.”

“We urge China to exercise restraint in order to contribute to stability in our region. Water cannons and LDAR are primarily defensive tools. But as we clearly saw, they are currently being used by China for aggressive and offensive purposes,” Malaya said.

“China’s use of offensive tools, interference with Philippine vessels, harassment and intimidation of Filipino fisherfolk or any other activity that infringes upon the Philippines’ sovereignty and jurisdiction in Bajo de Masinloc are violations of international law, particularly UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award,” he added.

China, meanwhile, has lodged solemn representations and a strong protest with the Philippines over a Philippine vessel "insisting on rushing into" disputed waters in the South China Sea, foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Monday at a regular news conference.

Earlier in the day, the US State Department described the Chinese vessels’ latest water cannon attacks against Philippine vessels on separate resupply missions in the Ayungin Shoal and Scarborough Shoal as a “reckless disregard” for the Filipinos’ safety and livelihoods and for international law.

‘Dangerous, unlawful’

In a statement, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stressed that the US stands with the Philippines amid the attacks which he called “dangerous and unlawful.”

“By impeding the safe operations of Philippine vessels carrying provisions to Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC interfered in lawful Philippine maritime operations and in Philippine vessels’ exercise of high seas freedom of navigation.  Obstructing supply lines to this longstanding outpost and interfering with lawful Philippines maritime operations undermines regional stability,” he said. — with Reuters/RSJ, GMA Integrated News