MANILA, Philippines — Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana lashes out at the Chinese Embassy envoy due to the continued ‘threatening, swarming presence’ of Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef in the West PH Sea.
In a statement released Saturday, Lorenzana said that the “Chinese Ambassador to the PH has a lot of explaining to do.” He pointed out that the weather in the West Philippine Sea “has been good so far, so they have no reason to stay there.”
“As of our latest maritime and aerial surveillance, there are still fourty-four (44) Chinese vessels that are in the Julian Felipe Reef. I am no fool. The weather has been good so far, so they have no reason to stay there. These vessels should be on their way out. Umalis na kayo diyan (You should all leave).”Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana
Lorenzana said that a diplomatic protest has already been issued by the country. “We, again, reiterate our demand for the Chinese to leave our sovereign territories and abide by the international law,” he added.
The National Task Force (NTF) for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) released a document and several photos to the media indicating the presence of vessels believed to be manned by Chinese militias who continue to roam around the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.
READ: “Leave Immediately” – Chinese Fleet says to PH Aircraft patrolling Julian Felipe Reef
The same photos and document revealed that 44 vessels were still docked at the Julian Felipe Reef as of March 29 after the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, filed a diplomatic protest against China’s apparent incursion in the West Philippine Sea. The rest of the fleet, however, just transferred to other areas in the West Philippine Sea.