The Philippine foreign secretary has urgently ordered via Twitter the filing of a diplomatic protest against China after its coast guard ships reportedly strayed near a Philippine-occupied shoal in the disputed South China Sea.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who is accompanying the Philippine president in a visit to Russia, issued the usually confidential order to his officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs via the social network.
The Philippine military chief reported new activities by Chinese coast guard vessels at the Second Thomas Shoal, where Filipino marines keep watch aboard a long-grounded navy ship. China claims almost the entire area.
Locsin tweeted: "Do I have to fly home to file the goddamned diplomatic protest myself? That's the military speaking. Not some friggin' civilian media outlet. File now!!!"