Zubiri on another water cannon attack: We again see China as a bully
MANILA, Philippines — China was once again seen as a bully, but it cannot falter the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard in protecting the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Saturday.
In a statement, Zubiri condemned the recent attack of a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel against a Philippine vessel on a resupply mission to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal.
On Friday, the National Task Force-West Philippine Sea reported that China attempted, but failed to change the route of the Philippine vessel through firing water cannons on it.
“In this latest incident, we again see China as a bully: using size and brute strength to illegally encroach upon our EEZ and enforce a baseless right to drive away our protectors,” the Senate President said.
“But water cannons and blockades will not dampen the will and resolve of our Navy and our Coast Guard to protect our exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.
According to Zubiri, CCG’s aggression cannot undo the fact that the Permanent Court of Arbitration has already invalidated the Chinese government’s claims to the West Philippine Sea.
“They cannot justify their aggression under the guise of “defense,” when their ships are clearly and disproportionately larger and more advanced than ours,” he said.
The Senate President also commended the Navy and Coast Guard for standing on their ground and protecting the country’s rights to its EEZ.
“Bear in mind that your Philippine Senate is behind you 100%,” Zubiri said.