Chinese radio challenges in West Philippine Sea ease up

26-Oct-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

China’s radio challenges in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) appear to have stopped or have at least eased up following last week’s filing of another diplomatic protest by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) questioning the same.

Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez, commander of the military’s Western Command (WesCom) and the Area Task Force West, said Philippine patrols will continue in the area to assert the country’s rights over its territorial waters.

Enriquez said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other government agencies will also continue to monitor the situation.

The DFA filed a new diplomatic protest against China over radio challenges, sounding of sirens and other provocative acts by Chinese vessels in the WPS as Philippine vessels conduct “legitimate, customary, and routine patrols over and around the Philippines’ territory and maritime zones.”

Yesterday, Enriquez told dzBB radio that the AFP was unable to fly aircraft as often as usual over the WPS during the past week because of bad weather.

But the WesCom did have three aircraft flying over the area “at wala naman tayong na-encounter na mga challenge (and we did not encounter any radio challenge).”

Enriquez said the military does not expect Chinese vessels to stop their radio challenges and other actions that could be considered harassment since that is how they defend their intrusion into Philippine waters.

“Nevertheless, what we’ll do is continue reporting and continue telling the world that we do not recognise their authority over the area. We will not stop,” he said in Filipino.

Enriquez said the maritime group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) uses their rubber boats in joining the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard in patrol operations in the WPS.

These increase the presence of government forces in the Kalayaan Island Group along with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as part of the “whole of government approach” that is also supported by local government units (LGUs) in the area.

Enriquez said the diplomatic protests of the DFA are based on reports of the AFP and other government agencies deployed in the WPS which means that while patrolling the WPS, the government as a whole pursues diplomatic means of peacefully settling issues.


Category: Philippines

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