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DFA Sec. Locsin confirms diplomatic protest vs. China over intrusion of its warships in West Philippine Sea.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. confirmed Monday giving the order for the Department of Foreign Affairs to lodge a diplomatic protest over the intrusion of Chinese warships in the West Philippine Sea.

Locsin disclosed the latest development in the Chinese intrusion case at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

According to the DFA Secretary, he ordered the filing of a new diplomatic protest on top of a previous one filed earlier over a similar incident, indicating the government would lodge another protest if the intrusion is repeated.

The DFA Chief indicated he issued a directive that the diplomatic protest to be lodged will convey a strongly worded complaint by the Philippines against China that would no longer use 'diplomatic language.'

According to the DFA Secretary, he based the protest on the report of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on repeated intrusions of Chinese warships in waters well within Philippine territory.

Based on Secretary Lorenzana's report, the Chinese warships intruded Philippine territory at Sibuti Strait in Tawi-Tawi last August and twice more in July.

During the hearing, Secretary Locsin agreed with Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon's suggestion to continue lodging diplomatic protests to send a clear message that the Philippine government is determined to assert it authority in waters that are part of Philippine territory and would continue to denounce what China is doing.

He assured the readiness of the DFA to work with the Senate in responding to Chinese intrusions in Philippine territory.

Senator Koko PImentel, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he is prepared to to convene a closed-door briefing to tackle issues related to China's response to diplomatic protests lodged by the Philippine government.

'I dont listen to civilian sources. I only listen to army to tell me what's wrong and then we wait for the national task force reports,' Locsin said, adding: 'However, since it is the Secretary of National Defense who has spoken, fire off the diplomatic protest against China. And if we have already filed one on the Chinese warships fire off another. We will never run out of those.'

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Aug 19, 2019
Words:406
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