PHILIPPINE Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has ordered the filing of three new diplomatic protests against China’s continued presence and other activities in the West Philippine Sea.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, September 30, Locsin told the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to protest China’s radio challenges issued against Philippine maritime patrols, the restriction of Filipino fishermen from conducting fishing activities, and the continued presence of Chinese fishing vessels in the vicinity of Iroquois Reef.
“@DFAPHL File now our protest on continued presence of Chinese fishing vessels in vicinity of Iroquois Reef,” he wrote in a tweet.
“@DFAPHL File now our protest on China’s incessant & unlawful restriction of Filipino fishermen from conducting legitimate fishing activities in Bajo de Masinloc,” he said in a separate tweet.
Locsin also tweeted, “@DFAPHL File now our protest on Chinese radio challenges unlawfully issued against Philippine maritime patrols.”
However, he did not disclose additional information about the latest Chinese incursions.
On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, sponsor of the National Security Council’s (NSC) 2022 budget, told the House of Representatives that there were some 150 Chinese fishing vessels loitering in the West Philippine Sea.
According to Biazdon, the vessels were “doing fishing operations, moving from one spot to another” in the area.
This year, the Philippines filed multiple diplomatic protests over the presence of hundreds of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea.
The country first filed a diplomatic protest on March 21, after some 220 vessels were sighted at the Julian Felipe Reef on March 7.
Since then, the DFA has filed a diplomatic protest against China “everyday” until the Chinese vessels were gone in Philippine waters. n