THE Philippines has already sent a note verbale to China in relation to the alleged confrontation between Filipino troops and Chinese Coast Guard in Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea over the weekend, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday, November 24, 2022.

In a television interview, DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo said the note verbale, which seeks to clarify the contradicting claims of the involved parties, was issued on Wednesday.

“The Department has also taken action. We have issued a note verbale already seeking clarification from China on the incident,” he said.

“We, of course, have our own reports, but we would like to hear them from the side of China. At the same time, we’ll continue monitoring this incident and we’ll see what further diplomatic action might be needed,” he added.

On Sunday, November 20, a team from the Naval Station Emilio Liwanag (NSEL) in Palawan recovered a rocket debris floating around 800 yards west off Pag-asa Island.

While towing it towards the NSEL, a Chinese Coast Guard approached the team, deployed a rubber boat and “forcefully took” the debris by cutting off the towing line.

The Chinese embassy in Manila denied the said claims, saying that the debris was returned to them after a “friendly consultation.”

Defense chief Jose Faustino Jr. defended his men as he stood by their report that the Chinese authorities took the debris in a rude manner. (SunStar Philippines)