Philippines filed 77 diplomatic protests vs China under Marcos

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippines filed 77 diplomatic protests vs China under Marcos
This handout photo taken on August 8, 2022 and released by the Philippine Coast Guard on February 13, 2023 shows a sailor (C, in orange vest) on board a Chinese Coast Guard vessel removing a cover of its "70 mm naval armament", near waters by the Second Thomas Shoal, in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine Coast Guard on February 13, 2023 said Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels had blockaded the Philippines-garrisoned shoal in August 2022 to stop government ships from reaching marines stationed there, with a Chinese Coast Guard boat removing the cover of its armament when a Philippine Coast Guard vessel neared the shoal.
Handout / Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has filed a total of 77 protests against China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea under the administration of President Marcos, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said 195 diplomatic protests were lodged with the Chinese government in 2022, while 10 diplomatic protests were filed this year.

“The Philippines continues to protest China’s persistent and illegal presence in Philippine waters, including those near Ayungin Shoal. The Philippines has filed a total of 77 protests against China’s violations under the Marcos administration, with 10 of those being filed this year,” Daza said.

The Philippines protested on Feb. 14 China’s dangerous maneuvers and use of military-grade laser at a Philippine Coast Guard vessel that temporarily blinded its crew and disrupted their resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

China denied it, saying the use of laser was only to “ensure navigation safety.” Beijing also defended the China Coast Guard’s “professional” and “restrained” action.

During a security conference in Munich, Germany, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said the Philippines faces daily incidents of harassment and land reclamation, depriving the country of the use of its exclusive economic zone.

BBM taking proper steps

President Marcos is taking proper steps in defending the Philippines’ rights in the West Philippine Sea compared to former president Rodrigo Duterte’s “shameless” policy of appeasement toward China in exchange for monetary benefits, former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario said yesterday.

Del Rosario welcomed the Marcos administration’s decision allowing joint patrols with like-minded nations in the West Philippine Sea and establishing additional locations under the US-Philippine Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

The Philippines, he said, should no longer think twice about firmly pushing back against aggression, such as that displayed by China and Russia.

“We fully encourage President Marcos Jr., as well as the leaders of the international community, to uphold the rule of law, where sovereign equality of states is observed in the sense that small nations like the Philippines are protected in their rights against the aggressions of bigger nations,” Del Rosario said.

21 radar stations

Aside from the recruitment of 4,000 additional personnel, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) would also have 21 new radar stations by the end of the year to boost its monitoring capability of vessels movement at sea.

PCG spokesman Rear Admiral Armand Balilo yesterday said the Coastal Radar Stations (CRS) Phase 1 project consists of 21 radar stations located in the Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi area, inner lanes and along the eastern seaboard.

But Balilo said that in the CRS Phase 2, the inclusion of five radar stations in the West Philippine Sea area could be among those up for discussion.

The construction of the 21 radar stations under CRS Phase 1 is funded by the Philippine government and grant aid from Japan.


PCG personnel are receiving training from the US and Japan in preparation for the acquisition of vessels that would be used in the conduct of sea patrol.

In an interview over ANC’s “Headstart,” PCG West Philippine Sea spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela said they have personnel getting training from the US and Japan as part of the PCG’s modernization program.

“Our personnel are receiving proper training from the US and Japanese government as well in preparation for the acquisition of vessels. If we are going to recruit people now, train them and prepare them for deployment to various assets in the next few years. This is how we are going to modernize the PCG,” he added.

He said that since the term of Duterte, the number of their personnel has been increasing, and it has been continued by Marcos since he assumed office last year.

“President Marcos continues the expansion of the PCG. During the first year of president Duterte, the PCG was only 8,900 (strong). After six years, we already had 22,000. During the first year of President Marcos, he approved 4,000. This year, we are expecting 4,000 which means that before the year ends, the PCG would be 30,000 strong,” Tarriela added.

He also said that at present, the PCG is utilizing three offshore vessels to conduct patrol in the West Philippine Sea, but they also have smaller ships – 10 units of 44-meter vessels to augment the needed sea patrol in the area.

PCG joins US, Taiwan

The PCG joined the Taiwanese Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard in their search for a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel that went missing near Palau last Feb. 17.

In a statement, the PCG said that at 7:30 a.m. yesterday its Coast Guard Aviation Force sent out Cessna Caravan 2081 to conduct aerial surveillance over the vicinity of Eastern Visayas and Bicol region, to search for the fishing vessel Sheng Feng No 128.

The PCG Command Center also immediately directed its Coast Guard Districts in Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Southeastern Mindanao, Northeastern Mindanao and Northeastern Luzon to launch their search and rescue operations.

There were reportedly six fishermen onboard the Taiwanese-flagged Sheng Feng – one Taiwanese and five Indonesians. The fishing boat was last seen 414 nautical miles northwest of Palau.

Security agreements

The DFA should broker updated security agreements with different countries that can help defend the Philippines from China’s continued aggression, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said on Monday.

“We have to exhaust all possible ways to defend the Philippines from China’s shameless actions. A security agreement can serve as a defensive framework that would provide for joint patrols and training of our troops so we are prepared to work as part of a team should tensions escalate,” Hontiveros said.

“We must strengthen our relationship with neighboring countries that will also be greatly affected if China’s blasphemy does not stop. China will not stop until we surrender the WPS, so we must also show her that we will never stand down,” the senator said. – Evelyn Macairan, Cecille Suerte Felipe

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with