'Illegal acts': DFA condemns China Coast Guard's blocking of PH supply boats in Ayungjn Shoal

Published November 18, 2021, 9:34 AM

by Betheena Unite

Two Philippine supply boats transporting food supplies to Philippine military personnel in Ayungin Shoal were “blocked and water cannoned” by three Chinese Coast Guard vessels on Tuesday, Nov. 16, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. bared Thursday, Nov. 18.

Locsin said the report came from the Western Command in Palawan.

No one was hurt in the incident, he said, but the boats had to abort their resupply mission.

“I have conveyed in the strongest terms to H.E. Huang Xilian, Ambassador of China and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing our outrage, condemnation and protest of the incident,” Locsin said in a statement.

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

Ayungin Shoal is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), which is an integral part of the Philippines, as well as the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, and over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

The top Philippine diplomat slammed the acts of the Chinese Coast Guard vessels, saying, “We do not ask permission to do what we need to do in our territory.”

“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 said.

“This failure to exercise self-restraint threatens the special relationship between the Philippines and China that President Rodrigo R. Duterte and President Xi Jin Ping have worked hard to nurture,” he added.

The Foreign Affairs chief further said that after the incident, the country will continue to provide supplies to our troops in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal).

Meanwhile, Malacañang through Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has taken note of the incident as well as the DFA’s subsequent action.

“The [DFA] has acted swiftly and has condemned the incident involving the Chinese Coast Guard,” said Nograles in a separate statement Thursday.

“As we have in the past, we will continue to assert our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over our territory,” he said.