DFA: Gov't to file diplomatic protest over Chinese structures in Panatag-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
MANILA -- The Philippine government intends to file a diplomatic protest against China "in the next few days" over the concrete blocks laid out in the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) shoal, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Thursday.
"We are framing an appropriate diplomatic protest. Hopefully, (we can file it) in the next few days," Del Rosario told reporters in an ambush interview.
In an aerial survey conducted Monday, the Philippine Navy said at least 75 concrete blocks approximately measuring two feet by two feet have been scattered in the Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc off the province of Zambales.
The Foreign Affairs Secretary added that they are considering submitting the said information to an earlier arbitration case the Philippine government filed against China over disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
"I think that's a substantive piece of information that we can tack on to our arbitration case. It will work positively for us," Del Rosario said.
Del Rosario was at the briefing of the House committee on appropriations on the proposed 2014 DFA budget.
For next year, DFA will get a 4.29-percent increase to P12.14 billion from this year's operating budget of P11.64 billion. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)