Teodoro slams China’s claim of 'new model’ pact for Ayungin Shoal
‘This charade must stop’

Teodoro slams China’s claim of ‘new model’ pact for Ayungin Shoal

/ 12:55 PM May 05, 2024

China says Marcos gov’t broke ‘new’ Ayungin pact

DECEPTIVE CALM Ayungin Shoal, shown here with its clear waters and pristine marine formations, with only the BRP SierraMadre as its man-made fixture, continues to be at the center of a diplomatic row between Manila and Beijing that seems to get murkier each day. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Sunday refuted China’s claim of a “new model” for Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

An unidentified Chinese embassy spokesperson on Saturday said a “new model” to manage the tensions in the shoal where a Philippine navy outpost is located was allegedly approved by officials in the Department of National Defense and the National Security Advisor.


READ: China, PH agreed on ‘new model’ for management at Ayungin — Chinese spox


“This charade must stop,” Teodoro said in a statement.

China revelation’s ‘curious’ timing

Teodoro called this claim a “devious machination” of China, also noting its “curious” timing as it came in the heels of the quadrilateral meeting of the Philippines, United States, Australia, and Japan.

“It is curious that it comes right after their actions were condemned in the recent SQUAD meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii,” he pointed out.

China Coast Guard used water cannons against a Philippine vessel in the Ayungin Shoal on March 23. The attack seriously injured three Navy personnel in what Manila considered to be the worst incident of the dispute with Beijing thus far.

United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III on Friday slammed this incident, which he called “irresponsible”.

READ: US Defense chief blasts China’s ‘irresponsible’ moves in West PH Sea


The rotation and resupply mission of the Philippines in the BRP Sierra Madre — a Navy ship grounded in Ayungin Shoal since 1999 — became the flashpoint of tension between Manila and Beijing.

Panatag pact

On Thursday, the Chinese embassy claimed that there was also a “temporary special agreement” with Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal between Manila and Beijing.

READ: Tarriela slams China’s Scarborough pact claim: There’s no such thing

Under the purported agreement on Panatag Shoal, Filipino fishermen could fish with small fishing boats while the PCG, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other Philippine government vessels and aircraft were barred from entering the 12 nautical miles and corresponding air space of the sandbank.

Beijing asserts sovereignty in the entire South China Sea — including most of the West Philippine Sea — despite the July 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling that effectively invalidated its claims based on a case filed by Manila in 2013.

This landmark decision also included Panatag Shoal, which was declared a traditional fishing ground that should be shared by the Philippines, China, and Vietnam.

Commodore Jay Tarriela, Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, promptly denied China’s claim.

China’s ‘methods of manipulation’

“Let us not be influenced by their fabricated stories once again, which aim to confuse the Filipino people and divert the public discourse from the real issue of their harassment and provocative actions in Bajo De Masinloc,” Tarriela said.

Teodoro also enjoined the public to be careful in heeding what he deemed as China’s “methods of manipulation.”

“I am issuing this statement to generate awareness on this clear attempt by China to advance another falsehood in order to divide our people and distract us from their unlawful presence and actions in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone),” he said.

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“We advise our citizens, the media, and the international community to beware of China’s methods of manipulation, interference, and malign influence in furthering its own interests,” he added.

TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, China, Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Philippines

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