Tolentino: Gov’t should recall PH envoy to China to protest latest attack in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino said on Sunday that the government may recall the ambassador of the Philippines to China as a message of “condemnation” to the recent water cannon attack made by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
In an interview, Tolentino said that it is one of the diplomatic measures that the country may take to express its denouncement of a Chinese vessel’s use of a water cannon to drive away a Philippine boat in the WPS.
“Nakikita ko pwede po siguro na—hindi pa ito natin ginagawa pero ang mag desisyon po nito ay ang executive branch, ang pangulo, ang DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs]—kung pwedeng pauwiin muna yung ating ambassador na nasa Beijing ngayon para mag report sa DFA, sa ating pangulo rin,” Tolentino said at a Super Radyo interview.
(I see that maybe it is possible; we have not done it yet, but the executive branch, the president, and the DFA will decide on it if we can send our ambassador, who is in Beijing right now, home to report to the DFA and to our president as well.)
“Ang mensahe po nito eh mataas na level na condemnation po iyon [sa water cannon incident] dahil wala na pong ulo yung embassy na maiiwan, although bukas pa ho, andon pa yung ating opisina, bukas pa pa yung pag tanggap ng mga visa,” he said.
(The message of this is that it is a high-level condemnation [to the water cannon incident] because there is no longer a head for the embassy there, although it is still open, our office is still there, and the acceptance of visas is still open.)
The senator clarified that the act, if ever the DFA pushes it through, will not signify the end of the diplomatic relationship between the Philippines and China.
“Ito po ay pag papahiwatig lang sa isang mataas na lebel na baka naman sumosobra na, mapansin niyo naman kami dahil ilang daan na po itong diplomatic protest na pinapadala namin at sunod-sunod,” Tolentino said.
(This is just to indicate at a high level that it might be going too far; maybe notice us because there are several hundred diplomatic protests that we are sending one after another.)
Tolentino said that among other things that the DFA may do is invite the Chinese envoy on Monday, November 13, to explain the incident and mobilize international support, which is already being done by the government.