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DFA: PH continues to protest China's 'persistent, illegal' presence in WPS

The Philippines will not back down from China's incursions into the West Philippine Sea as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) continues to file protests against Beijing.

According to DFA, the sighting of 26 suspected Chinese militia and coast guard vessels in the waters off Ayungin Shoal was the subject of its latest protest against its Asian neighbor.

"The Philippines continues to protest China's persistent and illegal presence in Philippine waters, including those near Ayungin Shoal," Ma. Teresita Daza, DFA spokesperson, said Monday.

West Philippine Sea (FILE PHOTO FROM AFP)

This means that the total number of protests filed by the country against China for its violations of international law under President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s administration has already reached 77.

Ten of them were filed just in the first two months of 2023, Daza added.

In January, Marcos flew to China for a state visit, where he also talked with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the current situation in the South China Sea, which included the West Philippine Sea.

Marcos said Xi told him that he would "find a compromise and find a solution" for Filipino fishermen to return to their traditional fishing grounds.

But in less than a month since visiting China, Filipino fishermen in the Ayungin Shoal were driven away by the Chinese Coast Guard.

And just recently, the Chinese Coast Guard dangerously pointed a military-grade laser at a PCG ship on a resupply mission for Philippine troops in the Ayungin shoal.