DFA files 2 diplomatic protests vs China as vessels mass up anew near JFR

DFA files 2 diplomatic protests vs China as vessels mass up anew near JFR

By Junex Doronio

MANILA — Oh boy, Sec. Teddyboy Locsin is not telegraphing his punches as he filed on Wednesday two diplomatic protests after the government found anew over 200 Chinese militia vessels lingering near Julian Felipe Reef (JFR) in the West Philippine Sea.

“Fired it off. Beautifully written but you will never see it because I’m like that. Annoying. Only Senate and House foreign relations,” Locsin said in a tweet.

The latest move of the foul-mouthed Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. followed the April 7 stern warning against China by the United States — the country’s former colonial master and now an ally.

“An armed attack against the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, will trigger our obligations under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” State Department spokesman Ned Price stressed.

Late Tuesday, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) reported that around 240 Chinese militia vessels are still inside the country’s territorial waters.

“I haven’t heard anything from the f*cking NTF-WPS but I’ll take ABS-CBN News’s word for it. Changing my policy of acting only on NTF requests. @DFAPHL FIRE A DIPLOMATIC PROTEST NOW,” Locsin said via Twitter.

The DFA already summoned the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to express “utmost disgust” over the “illegal” and the lingering presence of Chinese vessels at the Julian Felipe Reef.

The DFA reiterated its “firm demand” for China to ensure the “immediate departure of all its vessels from the area of Julian Felipe Reef and other maritime zones of the Philippines.”

Two People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy vessels were also seen in the disputed Bajo de Masinloc, the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) also reported.

The DFA chief gave the order after reading media reports about the situation. Locsin said he has yet to hear about it officially from the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS).

On Tuesday, the NTF-WPS also reported that there were also two PLA Navy vessels seen in Bajo de Masinloc.

“All these warships of the PLA Navy contribute to the militarization of the area,” the NTF-WPS said in a statement.

Bajo de Masinloc was administered by the Philippines as part of its Zambales province, until 2012, when a standoff was initiated by China through the use of warships against fishing boats during the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

In 2013, the Philippines solely filed an international case against China in the UN-backed court in The Hague, Netherlands.

In 2016, the court declared that China’s so-called nine-dash line claim in the entire South China Sea was invalid while upholding the sovereign rights of the Philippines in the area. (AI/JD)

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