The Philippine military is verifying the report that Chinese coast guards as harassing Filipino fishermen to send them away from the West Philippine Sea.
PHILIPPINE MILITARY – The military is still verifying the reports that Chinese coast guards have fired shots as warning to send the fishermen of Batangas away from the Union Reef in West Philippine Sea.
As being reported by the Philippine Star, Delfin Lorenzana, the Defense Secretary, has said yesterday that they are still validating the report and will file a protest afterwards if it is proven to be true.
“I think what’s important is to verify the circumstances, not just the actual fact. But the circumstances behind that in which case we defer to DND (Department of National Defense) and NSA (national security adviser),” Ernesto Abella said. Abella is the presidential spokesperson of the Malacañang.
He even added that they are leaving the details of the reported harassment of the Chinese to the defense department and national security advisers.
However, as mentioned in the report, General Eduardo Año said that with the coordination of other agencies and the Philipppine Coast Guard, they will validate it and take proper actions afterwards and he had not said any official statement regarding the matter.
According to the report, on a television news, fishermen from Mariveles, Bataan is saying that they are harassed by the coast guards of China.
Enrique Manalo, the Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary had said that Philippines would definitely bring up the construction of military facilities of China in the West Philippine Sea in their meeting next month in the bilateral consultation mechanism.
Bilateral consultation mechanism is where Philippines such issues which is mentioned by the Foreign Affairs Spokesman Robespierre Bolivar.
“But what is important is that we are constantly monitoring this and we are certainly not sleeping on this and the DFA in coordination with other security agencies is keeping a tight watch on developments,” Manalo said.