NSC spox: PH called up China about water cannon attack, no one answered
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines had called up China during the water cannon incident, but the latter did not answer until the encounter was over, according to National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya on Wednesday.
The Chinese Coast Guard had blasted the vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Armed Forces of the Philippines with one of the world’s strongest water cannons. Malaya said that they had attempted to call China on a special landline established to solve such conflicts.
“At the height of the Ayungin Shoal incident, noong Sabado ay tumatawag po tayo doon sa numero na binigay ng People’s Republic of China sa atin. Wala pong sumasagot,” said Malaya during the Laging Handa Public Briefing.
(At the height of the Ayungin Shoal incident, last Saturday, we were calling the number that the People’s Republic of China gave us. No one was answering.)
According to Malaya, it was one of the issues tackled when the Department of Foreign Affairs summoned Chinese Huang Xilian to its central office.
“Our side expressed disappointment na bakit tawag tayo ng tawag na wala namang sumasagot. Sumagot naman sila eventually pero nung tapos na yung tension,” said Malaya.
(Our side expressed disappointment on why we kept calling but no one was answering. They answered eventually but only when the tension was done.)
A command conference took place on Monday to discuss the government’s options on how to respond, but Malaya said he could not disclose those options yet. However, he reiterated that the Philippines will not abandon Ayungin Shoal.
“We hope that China, just like the Philippines, is interested in lowering tensions, in resolving this in a diplomatic and civilized manner,” said Malaya.