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‘China continue to intimidate, harass in Ayungin Shaol’
Published on: Thursday, November 25, 2021
By: GMA News
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Though the resupply mission to Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal (pic) was accomplished on Tuesday, it was not without what Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana described as “a form of intimidation and harassment” by the Chinese coast guard.

According to Lorenzana, a Chinese coast guard ship at the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal sent a rubber boat manned by three people to take photos and videos while the supplies were being unloaded at BRP Sierra Madre, the old Navy ship that serves as the Philippine outpost in the area.

“There was a Chinese coast guard ship in the vicinity which sent a rubber boat with three persons near the Sierra Madre while our boats were unloading and took photos and videos,” Lorenzana told reporters.

Lorenzana said he has relayed his concern about the incident to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian.

“I have communicated to the Chinese ambassador that we consider these acts as a form of intimidation and harassment,” said Lorenzana, adding Huang told him that “he would make an inquiry.”

Lorenzana also said he does not think the latest incident warrants a diplomatic protest from the Philippine government. “Personally, I believe not at the moment,” he said.

Still, the matter has already been brought to the attention of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Lorenzana added.

The resupply mission involved two military-chartered civilian boats that arrived in Ayungin Shoal, or Second Thomas Shoal, shortly before noon on Tuesday, days after a similar mission was aborted after Chinese coast guard personnel blocked the boats and fired water cannons at them.

The Philippines protested the incident. A group of progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into it.

The shoal is located 174 nautical miles from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, and is one of the nine areas occupied by Filipino troops in the West Philippine Sea.

The Chinese government has reasoned out that the Philippine vessels “trespassed” and that Chinese forces were just doing their duty to protect Chinese territory.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called out China for the attack, saying the use of force is never the way to settle claims.

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