DND ‘greatly concerned’ with reported swarming of Chinese vessels in WPS


The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday said it was greatly concerned about the reported swarming of Chinese vessels in parts of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

In a statement, DND said Chinese vessels were sighted in Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal.

Despite the reported swarming, DND officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. maintained that Philippine military forces would continue to conduct routine maritime and aerial patrols in the WPS.

Faustino added that while they remain open to dialogue, the information gathered in their patrols “are submitted to relevant authorities for appropriate action.”

“We maintain that activities which violate our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, and undermine the peace and stability of the region, are unacceptable,” he said.

“The President’s directive to the Department is clear — we will not give up a single square inch of Philippine territory.”

“The Philippines remains committed to maintaining a rules-based order in the West Philippine Sea and the larger South China Sea, and reserves the right to deal with any situation that violates or threatens our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the DND OIC added.

The reported swarming came weeks after the United States Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Philippines to show support for the country and counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.

During her meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Harris had said that Harris pointed out that any armed attack on the Philippine military, as well as the country’s public vessels and aircraft “would invoke the US mutual defense commitment.”


You might also like