The Daily Manila Shimbun


Military says Philippines to file diplomatic protest if Chinese vessels spotted off Pag-Asa

August 18, 2017

The Philippines will file a diplomatic protest if it will be proven that Chinese vessels were spotted off Pag-Asa Island, Manila's held territory in the South China Sea, the military said on Friday. Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano, citing his sources inside the military, said Chinese ships were seen near Pag-asa on August 12 until August 15. "We file diplomatic protest whenever we have sightings close to our areas. Especially this one," said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, during the "Mindanao Hour" briefing in Malacanang. Padilla said the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command, which has jurisdiction over Palawan, has been ordered to check on the report and "to ensure that our fishermen there are well and protected." Pag-Asa is located in Kalayaan municipality of Palawan. "Now, we will file our ongoing and continuing protest for any of these movements, and the Foreign Affairs Department will see to that," Padilla said. The Philippines has been claiming those areas within 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea. China, on the other hand, has been claiming almost the entire area. Other claimants are Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan. Celerina Monte/DMS