Philippines protests China's seizure of Filipino fishermen's devices, harassment of patrol aircraft


Posted at Aug 21 2020 12:47 AM

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said it has lodged another diplomatic protest against China.

In a statement, DFA said the it lodged a diplomatic protest over the Chinese Coast Guard's illegal confiscation of Filipino fishermen's fish aggregating devices (payaos) in Bajo de Masinloc in May.

"The Philippines also resolutely objected to China’s continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges [to] Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea," the DFA added.

The department did not provide additional details.

Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea have told stories of harassment from Chinese vessels who either block their boats or take their catch.

In April, the Philippines filed diplomatic protests against China over 2 developments in the South China Sea that Manila assert as violations of the country's sovereignty and of international law.

China created 2 districts in the South China Sea, where, aside from Beijing and Manila, competing claims are also made by Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

China included a chain of islands belonging to the Philippines, a move that experts said should be protested in the international court.

The Philippines won an arbitration award in 2016 from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, declaring China's sweeping claims over almost the entire South China Sea as having no legal basis.

Beijing continues to disregard the landmark ruling.