Chinese vessels spotted in Ayungin shoal; diplomatic protest readied
CAVITE CITY, Philippines– A Chinese naval ship was sighted escorting several fishing vessels in Philippine-occupied Ayungin shoal in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“Merong activities sila run… e nangingisda dun sa loob ng [territory] natin,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters in an ambush interview after the Philippine Navy anniversary rites at Fort San Felipe.
(They’re undertaking some activities there…fishing inside our territory.)
When asked how the Philippines was able to verify the identities of the foreign vessels, he said the ships were seen flying Chinese flags.
Gazmin said they are preparing to file a diplomatic protest through the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Kaya nga sinasabi ko yung proseso natin gagamitin natin yung Foreign Affairs. Gagawin natin sa mahinahong paraan… upang sa ganun hindi tayo naghahamon ng [ibang bansa],” he said.
(We will stick to protocol and we will call the attention of foreign affairs department on this matter. We will let diplomacy work to avoid perceptions we’re provoking other countries.)
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