Philippines summons China envoy amid war on drugs

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Philippines summons China envoy amid war on drugs


The Philippines will also send a note verbale to China to 'pursue' the drug issue 'on a more aggressive note'

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr on Wednesday, August 24, said he has summoned Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua over the problem of illegal drugs.

Yasay said he called Zhao to his office this week “to ask him about this question about drugs.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he has “grievances” with China about the involvement of Chinese nationals in the illegal drug trade in the Philippines.

Duterte said he will confront the Chinese government about this problem “at the proper time,” after the Philippines and China confront “bigger issues,” such as the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute. (READ: PH on China reclamation: ‘This should be stopped’)

In Wednesday’s Senate briefing, Yasay also said he will soon send China a note verbale, or a diplomatic note, upon the request of Senator Richard Gordon.

Yasay told Gordon on Wednesday, “I have directed the formalization of your request, and we are sending a note verbale to precisely pursue this on a more aggressive note.”

Gordon earlier requested the Department of Foreign Affairs to send China “a vigorous note verbale…to raise the level of dialogue and cooperation” in the war on drugs.

Gordon in particular wants “a more robust task force” through Philippine and Chinese immigration bureaus and law enforcement agencies to stress “the need for action by China to help in stopping the source of illegal drugs.”

The Philippines’ top diplomat said Zhao, for his part, told him that China “was going to come up with a joint operation with our law enforcement agencies” to stop the illegal drug trade. –

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email