PH military accuses Chinese vessel of ‘aggressive’ action vs patrol aircraft
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has accused China of being “aggressive” in challenging a Philippine patrol aircraft in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) early this week.
“Nababahala rin tayo bakit icha-challenge tayo sa sarili nating teritoryo. Ito ay aggressive action dun sa part ng Chinese vessel (We’re worried why we are being challenged right in our own territory. This is an aggressive action on the part of a Chinese vessel) ,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo on Friday.
But Cabunoc said the Philippine troops will not back down despite the Chinese aggressive actions.
“Hindi nagpapadala yung ating mga propesyunal na sundalo dun sa aggressive action ng Chinese vessel at sumusunod na sila dun sa kautusan na hindi dapat nila suklian ang aggressive actions (Our professional soldiers did not let themselves get carried away by the aggressive action of the Chinese vessel),” Cabunoc said.
A Chinese ship reportedly warned a Philippine Navy islander by aiming a powerful light while doing a maritime patrol in Zamora Reef (Subi) near Pag-asa Island (Thitu) in the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratlys) midday Sunday.
The sea vessel was not identified by the Philippine military.
“Kinonfirm naman ni Western Command chief Admiral Lopez na may nag-radyo. Yung broken English na nagsabi na pumapasok kayo sa Chinese territory. Kaya nga sinasabi namin yun ay isang aggressive action. Nanininindigan pa rin ang Pilipinas at AFP na nasa tama tayo. Nasa moral high ground tayo dito (Western Command chief Admiral Lopez confirmed there was a radio message telling the patrol aircraft in broken English that it was entering Chinese territory. That’s an aggressive action. The Philippines and AFP maintain we’re right and in moral high ground) ,” Cabunoc said.
The military earlier denied reports that the Chinese vessel fired illumination rounds on a Philippine aircraft.
Early this week, AFP chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. showed the media the latest aerial photos of China’s development activities in the West Philippine Sea, including islands claimed by the Philippines. AU
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