The Philippine government took action on Monday (07 Aug 2023) by summoning Chinese Ambassador to Manila, Huang Xilian, to express strong concern over the water bombing incident involving Philippine vessels during their resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) formally communicated its protest, urging China to cease engaging in “illegal actions against Philippine vessels and to refrain from interfering in lawful Philippine activities.”

During a joint press briefing with members of the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea, DFA Spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza confirmed that a note verbale had been issued to the Chinese Ambassador during the meeting led by Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro earlier in the day.

“In terms of statistics, up until August 7, the Philippines has lodged a total of 445 diplomatic protests since 2020,” Daza stated. Moreover, she disclosed that for the year 2023, the DFA has already lodged 35 diplomatic protests, including the note verbale handed over during the summoning of the Chinese ambassador.