Carlos, DND back PH Navy on China's 'forced seizure' of rocket part

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2022 01:56 AM | Updated as of Nov 23 2022 02:18 AM

National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos on Tuesday said she stands by Philippine Navy’s account regarding the incident between Philippine personnel and Chinese Coast Guard near Pag-asa Island over the weekend.

According to Carlos, she immediately sent a memo to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. upon receiving the report from the Philippine military.

“Siyempre sila ang paniniwalaan ko. We have the first narrative,” she said.

Marcos Jr. also earlier said that the Philippines will be sending China a note verbale regarding the incident.

Carlos said doing so is necessary.

“Ang note verbale kasi is a form of diplomatic note, and it can be a diplomatic protest. It’s just a formal diplomatic note between one foreign ministry and another,” she said.

“Kapag hindi tayo nagkibo, we acquiesce to what is happening and we don’t want to do that. Hindi natin tinatanggap ‘yun,” Carlos added.

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In a separate statement, the Department of National Defense said it also stands by the narrative of the Philippine Navy.

“We stand by the accounts of our personnel in the area that, contrary to the narrative of the Chinese side, the debris being towed by a Philippine vessel to Naval Station Emilio Liwanag for inspection was rudely taken by personnel from CCGV5203,” it said.

“Philippine authorities are also investigating the reported explosions near Pag-asa Island after the incident involving the floating debris. The situation is still developing; thus, we cannot provide additional details at this time,” it added.

A senior Philippine Navy official on Monday accused the Chinese coastguard of "forcefully" seizing parts of a rocket fairing that was found near Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea, but Beijing claimed the handover took place after "friendly consultation".

China confirmed the object is part of a rocket that it recently launched.

A Chinese coastguard vessel "blocked" a Filipino rubber boat towing the object, Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said. 

The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, however, denied the “forceful seizure” of the rocket part, insisting the handover took place after "friendly consultation".

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