MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will file anew another diplomatic protest against China amid reports that some 240 Chinese vessels were sighted in the Julian Felipe Reef on April 11, indicating its continued presence in the area despite repeated demands from the Philippines to withdraw its ships.
Over Twitter, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. announced Wednesday the order to fire another diplomatic note.
Asked for details, the DFA said the agency is verifying reports and checking with facts on the ground to ensure the protest is worded accordingly.
The latest development came two days after the government summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian over the swarming of Chinese ships, believed to be militias, in the area that is within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
In an update Wednesday afternoon, the DFA said it filed two diplomatic notes on April 14, one counts as the daily protest as long as there are Chinese ships in and around Julian Felipe Reef and the second is on the dispersal/displacement of Chinese ships to other parts of Philippine maritime zones.
The agency first lodged a note verbale over the amassing in Julian Felipe Reef on March 21 after some 200 Chinese vessels were spotted moored in line formation in the area. The number reportedly decreased to 44 ships based on a March 30 patrol by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Click here to read more…)