Chinese Incursion Into Philippine Waters Continues as 48 More Protests Are Filed


Increasing Chinese presence in Philippine seas is still a problem under the administration of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. Since June 30, 48 diplomatic protests have been filed against Beijing over incursions into the West Philippine Sea, says the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

In a Senate committee hearing on foreign relations last September 8, Foreign Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Maria Angela Ponce explained that there are currently 172 protests filed. This is based off numbers as of August 31st.

Under the Duterte administration, 388 diplomatic protests were filed against China. These protests cover incidents like illegal fishing, harassment, and illegal presence, as well as unauthorized scientific ventures. Diplomatic protests against Vietnam have been filed, as well.

“The current situation in the West Philippine Sea remains to be worth looking into because there are certain concerns on security,” said Department of National Defense Undersecretary Angelito de Leon. “...In broad strokes, the swarming incidents continue."

De Leon claimed that the military and the Philippine Coast Guard have strengthened their maritime domain awareness and patrols. He suggested to the panel that, through the military's modernization program, the acquisition of more air and maritime vessels should aid their monitoring of the situation.


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In the same hearing, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Senator Imee Marcos, questioned the Philippine government's strategy. She did acknowledge that while the protests are an assertion of our rights under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, sending out these protests might not suffice.


“What’s the point of sending hundreds and hundreds of protests aside from well, annoying both parties?" Marcos noted.

She continued: “Nakakahiya na dinideadma ka na sa sulat ka nang sulat nakakawala ng dignidad at respeto parang di maganda na ganoon."

There had been no data presented for the number of times China has responded to these claims. DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo said that Beijing would sometimes answer the protests in "omnibus form."

Senator Marcos suggested that perhaps there were still non-confrontational means to exercise to assert the country's sovereignty. Manalo responded by saying that he has been thinking about "sending less notes but with more substance, omnibus."

The Philippines, together with Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia, each have claims to the West Philippine Sea. China, on the other hand, claims most of the what it calls the "South China Sea." Beijing has repeatedly disputed and refused to acknowledge the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which says that its nine-dash line and historic rights claims were, according to its findings, invalid.

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