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Panelo on release of note verbale vs China: Take the word of public officials

/ 01:28 PM April 03, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Wednesday thumbed down the release of the note verbale filed against China, urging the public to just “take the word of the public officials.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the remark after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said that the protest will not be made public.

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READ: Locsin says diplomatic protest vs China will not be made public

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Locsin’s pronouncement raised doubts on the existence of the protest after Panelo, in a Palace briefing on Monday, said government has already filed a note verbale against China only to clarify a day later that such protest is just “on its way.”

 

READ:  Panelo: Diplomatic protest vs China ‘on its way’

“Naghahanap lang nang mapupuna iyong mga iyon. They should take the word of the public officials – sinabi na naibigay eh,” Panelo said in an interview over dwFM.

In a tweet, opposition senatorial bet and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said a “secret protest” on China’s deployment of hundreds of its fishing vessels near the Manila-occupied Pag-asa Island is “useless.”

Panelo, who is also the chief legal counsel of President Rodrigo Duterte, explained that he was just quoting the Western Command when he initially said the Department of Foreign Affairs has already filed a note verbale.

“Ang sabi ko, iyong unang statement ko sang-ayon sa Western Command. Siguro they were assured na magpapadala na ng protesta kaya sinabi niyang okay na. Sinabi naman ni Locsin, on the way na – oh di nagpadala na nga,” he said.

The Palace official, however, said the government has already made its position “very clear.”

“Hindi kayo pupuwede diyan, umalis kayo diyan sapagkat you’re encroaching on our territory. Ganoon lang kasimple,” he said.  /muf

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TAGS: China, DFA, Diplomatic Protest, Features, local news, Malacañang, nation, national news, Philippine news update, Salvador Panelo, Teddy Boy Locsin
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