AFP: We will resist if other countries try to move BRP Sierra Madre
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that it will resist if any country moves to displace the BRP Sierra Madre from its position in the Ayungin shoal.
In a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday, AFP Spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar’s answer was brief when asked what the country’s armed forces would do in case the ship was towed by other countries.
“Of course, we will resist,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar also said that procedures are in place should the event happen.
“We have rules of engagement on what to do in situations like this. It may be an act already that may be considered as hostile. But I will leave it to the experts,” he added.
On August 6, the Chinese coast guard vessels fired a water cannon at Philippine Coast Guard ships delivering supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre.
This act was condemned by the governments of Australia, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
Later, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that a note verbale had been sent to protest the attack.
On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed that the Philippines had promised to withdraw the ship from Ayungin Shoal.
However, Marcos Jr. has denied the existence of the agreement and said that if the agreement does exist, it is now rescinded.
“[If] there does exist such an agreement, I rescind that agreement as of now,” Marcos Jr. said.