AUGUST 16, 2019 — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government will file another diplomatic protest against China after five more of its warships crossed the Sibutu Strait.
Lorenzana said China violated a protocol on Philippine territorial waters when the ships turned off their automatic identification systems. He believes China is hiding something.
“I think it’s not innocent anymore kasi palagi na. At why don’t they inform us, why the secrecy?” Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana said he wants to know the purpose of the passage and the place of origin of the Chinese warships.
Although the defense chief estimates that a total of 150 ships cross the strait daily, but they are mostly non-military.
Lorenzana said the warships posed no apparent threats but the secrecy of the passage was not reassuring, considering that the Philippines and China have overlapping claims in the West Philippine Sea.
“Wala naman ginagawang masamang atake pero nakakainis lang dahil tubig natin ‘yun,” he said.
The statements come after earlier reports from the military that four warships had crossed the strait, also without permission. (Kathryn Jose/JMF)