China didn’t ignore Duterte in demand to pull Chinese ships out of WPS, says Palace
MANILA, Philippines — China did not ignore President Rodrigo Duterte when he demanded the pull out of Chinese vessels from the West Philippine Sea, which were spotted at the Julian Felipe Reef, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque pointed out that 201 of the 220 Chinese vessels spotted at the reef has already left the area after Duterte talked to China’s envoy to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
“Hindi po totoo na inignore ang ating Presidente… 201 fishing vessels ang umalis and all because of the message of the President and the warm relations we enjoy with China,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(It is not true that the President was ignored. Already 201 vessels have left the area because of the President’s message and the warm relations we enjoy with China.)
The Palace earlier said that Duterte told the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines that he was concerned about a large number of Chinese vessels at the Julian Felipe reef.
The latest rift in the West Philippine Sea started on March 21, when the Philippine Coast Guard reported that about 220 Chinese ships were spotted in line formation near Julian Felipe Reef, which is part of the Philippine continental shelf.
The Philippines, particularly the Department of Foreign Affairs, has filed a diplomatic protest against China on the matter.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. recently told China to “get the f*ck out” of Philippine waters as Chinese vessels continue to linger in the West Philippine Sea.
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