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Panelo to Chinese vessels near Philippine-occupied islands: We won’t tolerate your presence

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By Prince Golez

Despite the friendly relations between the Philippines and China, Malacañang on Wednesday said the administration will “always assert sovereignty when it is impaired (and) insulted.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this after Chinese vessels were reportedly hanging around Philippine-occupied Kota Island and Panata Island in the West Philippine Sea.

“We will object to their presence. We already filed a diplomatic protest, and that applies to everything, anything that concern Chinese vessels in our territory,” Panelo told reporters.

He said Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will file a new protest after validating the report.

Locsin had earlier filed diplomatic notes against China over Chinese vessels spotted near Pagasa Island in the disputed region.

“They will know that we are against it… that we will not allow it, that we will not tolerate such presence in our territory,” said Panelo.

The chief presidential legal counsel also warned China against sailing close to islands occupied by the Philippines.

“They should. They have no business being there.If they continue to be present in our territory, then it is an assault to our sovereignty,” he ended.

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