Locsin confirms filing of ‘beautifully written’ diplomatic protest against China over ‘swarming’ in West PH Sea

Published April 14, 2021, 6:13 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday confirmed the filing of a “beautifully written” diplomatic protest against China over the latest “swarming” of over 240 Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. 

(Photo from the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea)

“Fired it off. Beautifully-written but you will never see it because I’m like that. Annoying. Only Senate and House foreign relations,” Locsin said in a tweet in response to a local journalist asking if the Department of Foreign has already filed the protest.

In response to a media query, DFA Executive Director for Strategic Communications Ivy Banzon-Abalos said the DFA sent out two diplomatic protests on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.  

“One counts as the daily protest we said we would do as long as there are ships by Julian Felipe Reef and the second one is on the dispersal/displacement of Chinese ships to other parts of PH maritime zone,” Abalos explained.

Locsin was compelled to file a new diplomatic protest hours after the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea  (NTF-WPS) issued a statement denouncing the continuous swarming of “Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) and Maritime Militia” which the Chinese authorities are claiming to be ordinary fishing vessels.

In his early morning tweets on Wednesday, the DFA secretary ranted against the NTF for apparently not letting him know ahead of the media about the latest incidents in connection with the massing of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. 

 “I haven’t heard anything from the f_____g NTF-WPS but I’ll take ABS-CBN News’s word for it. Changing my policy of acting only on NTF requests. @DFAPHL fire a diplomatic protest now,” the country’s top diplomat said in a tweet. 

The DFA secretary has been openly stating in his tweets that he will never rely on news reports as the basis for his actions or reactions, especially if it is coming from the local media.

But in this case, he admitted that he is changing his policy after seeing the online report published by ABS-CBN. 

“Right. I fired off today’s diplomatic protest on ABS-CBN tweet of NTF WPS report. I never did that before,” he said.