Año belies China’s ‘new model’ pact for Ayungin

Año belies China’s ‘new model’ pact for Ayungin, calls it ‘desperation’

/ 12:03 AM May 06, 2024

National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano. china joint patrols

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año FILE PHOTO

LAOAG, ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines — National Security Adviser Eduardo Año did not mince his words when discussing about the Chinese embassy claim that there is a “new model” between both countries to address the maritime issues in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

On Saturday, an unidentified Chinese embassy spokesperson said “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.


Año on Sunday categorically denied this claim after Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.’s earlier denial.


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

No agreement with ‘oppressors’

“It has truly reached a new low of pathetic desperation,” Año said in a statement, calling the claim “fake news” and “disinformation.”

Año said that he and other officials from the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea have not talked to what he called “agents” of China.

“No one in the Philippine government is, nor have been, empowered nor authorized to enter into or commit to any sort of agreement, understanding, or arrangement — more so informal ones, by our President,” he said.

“Neither I nor any other principals or officials from the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea have consented nor committed to any proposal that will compromise the National Interest from agents of a foreign power actively engaged in oppressing us in our territories and waters,” he added.


The National Security Council chief also called this claim a distraction as Filipino scientists on Saturday said there might be an ongoing artificial island-building in the waters close to Pag-asa Island linked to China.


READ: China seen behind new WPS island-building

Such activities are in line with Beijing’s assertion of 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.

“Moreover, the timing of this story is clearly meant to distract from the bigger story of the piling of dead corral ruble in Pag-Asa Cays 1,2,3 which is meant to create a high tide man-made geologic feature between Pagasa Island and Subi reef in an attempt to reverse the findings of the 2016 Arbitral Award,” Año noted.

Año further said: “The Chinese Embassy needs to be reminded that you can never deceive the Filipino people with your fabricated stories, bluffs, and fake exchanges of communication just to support your illegal claim of Philippine territory as well as to justify your illegal, coercive, aggressive and deceptive actions particularly the use of military-grade lasers, water cannons, dangerous blocking maneuvers, and ramming of our vessels which has caused wounded casualties on our side.”

China Coast Guard did what Manila deem as “dangerous maneuvers” against its chartered boats and Philippine Coast Guard vessels, sometimes resorting to usage of military grade lasers and even water cannons that caused serious injuries to Navy personnel.

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The resupply activity of BRP Sierra Madre grounded in Ayungin Shoal and the humanitarian activities in Scarborough Shoal become the flashpoint of tensions between Manila and Beijing.

TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, Chinese embassy, Eduardo Año, new model

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