The Philippines conveyed a verbal message to China following the conflict at Pag-asa Island, the DFA reported Thursday.
Teresita Daza, a representative for the Department of Foreign Affairs, told reporters, “Yes, a Note Verbale has been sent.”
A section of the communication states, “As noted by the Secretary, the memo requests clarity from the Chinese side regarding the incident involving the Philippine Navy and the Chinese Coast Guard on 20 November 2022 in the region of the Pag-asa Cays.”
Enrique Manalo, the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, stated that the department analyzed the issue before verbally delivering the letter to Beijing.
Manalo told CNN Philippines, “We’re already analyzing the situation.”
“The agency took action. We have already sent China a note verbale asking for an explanation for the occurrence.”
Manalo stated that the Philippine government supports the navy’s statement.
“We listen to the Vice Admiral. We’ve sent China a verbal note to gauge their response,” explained Manalo.
“Based on their reaction, we will decide the following steps. To begin, we require an official statement from China.” Manalo added that the note verbale constitutes a diplomatic protest. “Yes, it’s diplomatic. We made it clear that we had received this report, and confirmation from China would be appreciated.”
Philippines sends note verbale to China after Pag-asa incident
Manalo continued, “They are free to interpret it however they see fit, but we hope to hear from them as soon as possible.”
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. requested that a verbatim letter be sent to China to determine why the Chinese and Philippine stories of Pag-asa differ.
This is why, according to Marcos, he is excited to visit China in January.
On Sunday, the Chinese Coast Guard “forcibly” recovered an unidentified floating object from the Philippine Naval Station Emilio Liwanag (NSEL) off Pag-asa Island.
The Chinese Embassy denied that Coast Guard personnel removed the device by force, stating that the retrieval was accomplished with “friendly dialogue.”
In a radio interview, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez stated that the United States is concerned about the standoff between Filipino and Chinese forces near Pag-asa Island.
Following the event, Super Radyo dzBB questioned Romualdez regarding Philippine-American coordination.
“They are anxious because of what happened,” continued Romualdez.
The Navy confirmed that Chinese ships were involved, he said.