Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will file a diplomatic protest against China's firing of warning flares against Philippine military aircraft patrolling in the West Philippine Sea when the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency confirms the report.
ASEAN
DFA chief to protest China's warning flares vs Philippine military planes after verification
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 6, 2019 - 12:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' top diplomat is awaiting confirmation on China's firing of warning flares against Philippine military aircraft patrolling the West Philippine Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he will fire a diplomatic protest against China when the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) confirms the report.

"I don’t trust civilian sources they lie as they breathe. When NICA confirms I fire protest. We can trust only the Armed Forces to tell the truth," Locsin tweeted Wednesday.

The report, however, came from Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao.

The general reported to the House Committee on National Defense and Security that Beijing had been making "significant improvements" on its expansive claims in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

"Recently, Beijing has also issued flare warnings against Philippine aircraft covering these areas, and from January to June 2019, there have been six flare warnings against Philippine maritime patrols have been noticed," Basiao told the House panel Tuesday.

According to Basiao, China also deployed 17 research vessels in Philippine waters from January to June.

This move from Beijing sought to hinder the Philippines' patrol, rotation and re-provision missions in the West Philippine Sea, the military general said.

Basiao also reported to lawmakers that China has been the "most aggressive" among South China Sea claimants while other claimants are also undertaking efforts to safeguard their claimed territories.

CHINA DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DIPLOMATIC PROTEST SOUTH CHINA SEA TEODORO LOCSIN JR. WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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