PH supply boats in WPS ‘blocked and water cannoned’ by China Coast Guard

Another tension spiked in the West Philippine Sea as China Coast Guard vessels “blocked and water cannoned” Philippine supply boats on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, on Thursday. The incident took place last Tuesday, November 16, 2021, according to the reports of Palawan-based Western Command. No one was hurt from the incident, but the boats had to abort their mission. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he has spoken to Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing to protest and condemn the incident, reminding them that a public vessel is covered by the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty. Incidents like these “threaten the special relationship between the Philippines and China that President Rodrigo R. Duterte and President Xi Jin Ping have worked hard to nurture.”

He said Ayungin Shoal is part of the Kalayaan Island Group, which is an integral part of the Philippines, as well as the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction. Filipino troops are stationed in BRP Sierra Madre, a transport ship intentionally grounded in 1999 to serve as an outpost of the Philippine Navy. “The acts of the Chinese Coast Guard vessels are illegal. China has no law enforcement rights in and around these areas. They must take heed and back off,” Locsin added. “We do not ask permission to do what we need to do in our territory, the Philippines will continue to provide supplies to troops in Ayungin Shoal”. Locsin strongly said.