The alleged Chinese ship, which docked off Subic Bay, is a former Japanese vessel acquired and converted into a yacht by a businessman based in the area, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Sunday.
MANILA-The Philippines will lodge a protest over the unannounced presence of two Chinese research vessels in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), one of at least three diplomatic challenges in recent weeks amid a souring of relations.
The Chinese embassy in Manila previously urged the Philippine government to investigate the matter, and noted that it will be "closely" monitoring the results. We go down this road of letting Chinese nationals be hurt, our people in China will pay.
The Chinese embassy further said it "highly appreciate (s)" the efforts of the Philippine government to put a stop to these illegal acts, as well as the government's commitment to protecting Chinese citizens in the Philippines.
Chinese oceanographic survey ship Zhang Jian was recently located operating in the east coast of the Philippines.
The embassy said offshore gaming operations in the Philippines have led to crimes and social problems in China.
It noted that dozens of kidnappings and tortured cases of Chinese citizens who gamble or work illegally in gambling entities in the Philippines have taken place. Via its nine-dash line on maps, China says it has historic jurisdiction to nearly the entire sea, although the 2016 arbitral ruling declared that invalid under global law.
This was after a local news site reported about the vessel, adding that it was loaded with passengers of Chinese nationality.
Duterte is scheduled to visit China later this month - the fifth time since he assumed office in 2016 - to discuss maritime issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Last week, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it continues efforts to increase tax collections.