“FIRE at will.”
Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin, Jr. yesterday ordered the filing of another diplomatic protest against China over five Chinese warships spotted off Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi.
Locsin tweeted his order to the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in response to an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) report that Chinese warships passed through Philippine territorial waters in southern Mindanao without Manila’s knowledge.
“Fire diplomatic protest over Chinese warship; drop the diplomatic crap; say it is ours period; they’re trespassing,” Locsin said in a tweet. “If we did it already, fire another. We won’t run out.”
Locsin tld the DFA not to wait for formal intelligence reports: “Fire at will.”
The military, through Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana, AFP Western Mindanao Command chief, had reported the passage of two warships in Sibutu Strait in July and three more in August.
For the Chinese failure to inform Philippine authorities they said the incursion could not be considered innocent passage which is a privilege granted foreign ships traveling on an internationally-recognized sea lane like the Sibutu Strait.
The DFA had previously lodged a diplomatic protest over a similar incident involving Chinese Navy vessels spotted off Balabac Strait in Palawan in June.