MANILA — A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Tuesday said the presence of several Chinese vessels near the Pag-asa Island is a “threat” to the Philippine national interest in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In a press conference, Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano disclosed information from a military source that the Chinese vessels spotted north of Pag-asa island three days ago were two frigates, one coast guard vessel, two large fishing vessels and their maritime militia.
Alejano also reported that a Philippine government ship from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) was allegedly prevented from going near the sandbars generally west of the disputed island.
“This is highly suspicious and threatening considering the fact that China says one thing in public and does another on the ground,” Alejano said.
The lawmaker called on the Philippine government to file an appropriate diplomatic protest against China.
“This must be taken seriously by the Philippine government and call the attention of China to order their ships away from Pag-asa Island and file an appropriate diplomatic protest against China. I call on the Philippine government officials to be transparent in what is happening in the West Philippine Sea,” Alejano said.