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Marcos meets with security team over latest conflict with China

PRESIDENT Ferdinand «Bongbong» Marcos Jr. on Monday called a command conference with members of the security cluster to discuss the steps to be taken following the latest maritime dispute with China.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets with security officials to tackle China’s latest violation in the West Philippine Sea.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said the Chief Executive ordered the Philippine Coast Guard to conduct an investigation «as mandated by international maritime laws» into the events that transpired over the weekend during a routine Rotation and Resupply mission to the Ayungin Shoal where a commissioned Philippine vessel was met by «dangerous blocking maneuvers.»

«Dangerous, illegal, and reckless maneuvers by vessels of the China Coast Guard caused damage to a Philippine vessel within our exclusive economic zone and is being taken seriously at the highest level of government,» the PCO said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday filed a diplomatic protest against China.

DFA spokesman Ma. Teresita Daza said Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian was summoned but he was out of town so the embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission represented him.

She said the DFA's «resolve to continue pursuing our mandate of protecting and upholding the country's legal maritime entitlements remains firm.»

«We're making full use of diplomatic processes and are exercising all possible options available to us. That includes summoning the Chinese ambassador, which we did this morning,» Daza said during a joint briefing with the National Security Council and Philippine Coast Guard.

She reiterated that the Philippines has «sovereign rights and jurisdiction over» the Ayungin Shoal in the WPS.