Palace: PH won’t abandon Ayungin Shoal outpost after water cannon incident with China
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will not abandon its Ayungin Shoal outpost in the West Philippine Sea after China Coast Guard vessels “blocked and water cannoned” Philippine supply boats, Malacanang said Friday.
Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said the government will continue to assert its sovereignty over its waters, including Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
“We will continue to assert our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, our jurisdiction over Ayungin Shoal and all other territories within our jurisdiction including our [exclusive economic zone],” Nograles said in a press briefing.
“We stand by the swift actions of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and we’re confident that the DFA will do whatever is necessary,” he added.
Asked if it is an option for the government to abandon its detachment in Ayungin Shoal to avoid confrontation with China, Nograles said: “Walang abandonment na mangyayari dyan.”
“Itutuloy namin at gagawin namin ang lahat at ang nararapat para makarating ang mga supplies doon para sa ating mga kapwa Pilipino na nandoon,” Nograles said.
The Philippine boats were blocked by the Chinese Coast Guard vessels as they were on a mission to resupply BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. No one was hurt from the incident, but the boats had to abort their mission.
Filipino troops are stationed in BRP Sierra Madre, a transport ship intentionally grounded in 1999 to serve as an outpost of the Philippine Marines.
Ayungin Shoal— which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone— is around 20 nautical miles from Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, one of the features being occupied by China in the Kalayaan Island Group that it had transformed into military outposts.
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