Chinese ships ‘blocked, water cannoned’ 2 Philippine boats en route Ayungin Shoal – Locsin

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Thursday that Coast Guard vessels blocked and water cannoned two Philippine boats that would bring supplies to Ayungin Shoal last Tuesday.

According to the military’s Western Command reports, the boats were on their way to deliver food supplies to Filipino soldiers in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal).

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Lacson said no Filipino was hurt in the incident. After that, however, they had to abort their resupply mission.

As a result, the DFA chief said he has conveyed “in the strongest terms” to Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian and his Chinese counterpart in Beijing the Philippines’  “outrage, condemnation, and protest of the incident.”

“I reminded China that a public vessel is covered by the Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty,” he added.

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Locsin reiterated that Ayungin is part of Kalayaan Island Group and the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction.

“The acts of the Coast Guard vessels are illegal. China has no law enforcement rights in and around these areas. They must take heed and back off,” he said.

ships ‘blocked, water cannoned’ 2 Philippine boats en route Ayungin Shoal – Locsin

“The Philippines will continue to provide supplies to our troops in Ayungin Shoal,” Locsin added. “We do not ask permission to do what we need to do in our territory.”

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the water cano incident lasted for an hour.

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“So nag-manuever sila [They maneuvered] and they have to abort their resupply mission,” he said.

“Unusual yung presence nila sa Ayungin. There were about… usual diyan mga dalawang maritime militia lang pero for the last week merong 19 [It was usual to spot two Chinese maritime militia in Ayungin, but last week it became 19, which was unusual],” he added.

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