Reports that reveal China harassing Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea prompted The Department of Foreign Affairs to demand response from them, as per an Inquirer story.
“We have raised the matter with the Chinese side several times and they informed us that their investigations did not reveal any such incidents,” said Robespierre Bolivar, Spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs.
Bolivar said the DFA requested they proceed with the investigations and to share the outcomes with the Philippine authorities.
“With the current positive momentum in PH-China relations, we have mechanisms in place where the Philippines can raise such issues. This includes the bilateral consultation mechanism, which is meant to tackle issues of concern in the West PH Sea,” Bolivar added.
Prior reports said that the Filipino fisherman were chased away by the Chinese Coast Guard by firing warning shots as they headed out to Union Reef.
In the event that it was confirmed, the occurrence would be viewed as the primary threatening scene since the Philippines and China have had friendlier relations through President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Meanwhile, Gary Alejano, Representative of the Magdalo group condemned the “aggressive acts pf Chinese Coast Guards.
He said it was clearly a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines, as reported by the ABS-CBN News.
“Once and for all, let us assert our rights by concrete actions on the ground. Otherwise, other countries particularly China will continue to abuse and disrespect us as a country,” he added.