For best experience, use Nutshell app on your smartphone.
6:19 pm on 22 November 2022, Tuesday
By Raheema Velasco
Following the recommendation of National Security Adviser Secretary Clarita Carlos, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said on Tuesday that he plans to send a note verbale to China after contrasting reports from Chinese Embassy and Philippine military regarding Pag-asa Island incident.
“Hindi nagtugma ‘yung report ng Philippine Navy at saka ‘yung report na galing sa China because the word forcibly was used in the Navy – in the Philippine Navy report. And that was not the characterization in the Chinese navy report or the report coming from China," Marcos said.
(The Philippine Navy report and the report from China did not match because the word forcibly was used in the Navy - in the Philippine Navy report. And that was not the characterization in the Chinese navy report or the report coming from China.)
Note verbale is an unsigned diplomatic note written in the third person, of the nature of a memorandum but sometimes considered to be more formal.
Marcos said that he will “work things out” during his visit to Bejing in early January 2023.
"Asia-Pacific is heating up, baka may magkamali lang, may mistake, may misunderstanding then lalaki 'yung sunog," the president added.
(Asia-Pacific is heating up, maybe they just made mistakes, there will be a mistake, there will be a misunderstanding then the fire will grow.)
On Sunday, Philippine military commander earlier said that a Chinese coast guard ship on Sunday “forcefully retrieved” a floating object being towed by a Philippine vessel in the West Philippine Sea.
But in contrast, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said that “people from the Philippines side salvaged and towed the floating object first.”
“After both sides had a friendly negotiation at the scene, the Philippines handed over the floating object to us," she added.
"It was not a situation in which we waylaid and grabbed the object.”
The Chinese Embassy also denied that one of its coastguard ships used force in aim to retrieve rocket debris that are floating near Pag-asa Island and clarified that “there was no so-called blocking of the course of a Philippine Navy boat.”
Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos reported that the object was spotted about 800 yards (730 meters) west of Pag-asa Island.
Carlos said that the team tied the object to their boat and started towing it before the Chinese vessel approached and blocked their course twice before deploying an inflatable boat that cut the tow line, then took the object back to the coastguard ship.
The incident occurred while United States (US) Vice President Kamala Harris conducted a three-day visit in the Philippines.
The same day that Carlos reported the matter, Harris publicly announced the US’ “unwavering commitment” to the Philippines in supporting the country amid territorial dispute in West Philippine Sea.
“We must reiterate always that we stand with you in defense of rules and norms…the basis of our relationship is based on mutual commitments to international rules and norms,” Harris said.
The vice president added that any attack on Philippine armed forces, vessels, and aircraft in West Philippine Sea would invoke mutual US defense commitments.