The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Wednesday said that they are backing the summoning made by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the Chinese Ambassador to Malacañang in order to raise “serious concern” over the harassment by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) of a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel off Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea last week.
PDP-Laban President and Rep. Jose Alvarez said President Marcos summoning Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2023 was a good step to diffuse tensions in the West Philippine Sea and assert the country’s sovereignty over the said territory.
“The PDP-Laban believes President Marcos did the right thing by summoning to Malacanang Ambassador Xilian not only to express serious concern over the incident but also to discuss how to improve dialogue and communications between China and the Philippines over disputes in the West Philippine Sea,” Rep. Alvarez said.
“It also shows that the Philippines favors a diplomatic solution to settle whatever maritime differences our country and China has over the West Philippine Sea,” he added.
In a separate statement, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said President Marcos and Huang “exchanged views on how to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, strengthen dialogue and communication, and properly manage maritime differences between China and the Philippines.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has filed the country’s eighth diplomatic protest this year with the Chinese Embassy in Manila, calling on Beijing to “cease and desist” its aggressive activities against Philippine vessels.