DFA files another diplomatic protest vs China over collision, maneuvers in WPS
October 23, 2023 | 12:28pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Monday filed another diplomatic protest against China following the “dangerous maneuvers” of two Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels in the West Philippine Sea on Sunday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
This comes a day after the incident involving two CCG vessels, a Philippine Coast Guard Vessel, and a AFP-contracted supply vessel on a resupply mission to the anchored BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.
The DFA said that it will be making full use of all diplomatic processes available.
“We are always hopeful that China will act as a responsible member of the international community and that it will respect our sovereignty and our sovereign rights,” DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza said in a press conference.
“If it wants to be a responsible member of the international community, it will do so and act so,” she added.
Tensions flared on October 22, during the routine and regular rotation and resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre stationed at Ayungin Shoal where two CCG Vessels conducted a “dangerous maneuver” and collided with an Armed Forces of the Philippines-contracted supply boat Unaiza May 2.
China blamed the Philippines for the collision saying that the Philippine vessel ignored “multiple warnings and deliberately passed through law enforcement in an unprofessional and dangerous manner.”
However, in a video by the AFP, it captured the bow of the CCG ship making brief contact with the stern of the resupply vessel. The Philippine vessel continued its course, and while the video does not confirm any damage, the incident highlighted the tense encounter.
“The statements made by China are not supported by evidence. Parang kinuha lang sa hangin (It’s like they were pulled out of thin air)…the Unaiza May 2 were moving in a regular direction and it was the Chinese Coast Guard Vessel blocked the path,” Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said in a press conference.
“I think that kind of statement collapses in the face of overwhelming evidence,” Malaya also said, referring to China’s claims.
The DFA said that it had summoned the Chinese ambassador, however, another embassy official stood in for Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian as he is currently away.