China linking 'new model' to AFP exec is 'Marites' warfare — spox

Navy spox: China linking ‘new model’ to AFP exec is ‘Marites’ warfare

/ 04:04 PM May 10, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine Navy spokesperson has shrugged off the Chinese embassy’s allegations linking the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Western Command chief Vice Adm. Alberto Carlos to the purported “new model” of conduct in the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

“I call it part of ‘Marites’ warfare,” Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, Navy spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said in a public briefing regarding China’s claims.

“Marites” is a Filipino slang referring to gossipmongers.


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


According to a Manila Times report, the Chinese embassy presented a supposed transcript of Carlos and a Chinese diplomat, claiming they also have an audio recording of the exchange regarding the “new model” agreement on the Ayungin Shoal.

READ: China embassy’s ‘barking’ violates wiretapping law if claims true — Teodoro

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

The resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal, where the BRP Sierra Madre is aground, became one of the flashpoints of tension between Manila and Beijing.

Trinidad said China unleashed the “new model” claim “to sow intrigue among us Filipinos, and we will be diverted from the real issue, which is China encroaching into our territorial domain in the West Philippine Sea.”

Carlos on leave; AFP respects his silence

Carlos is now on personal leave, but Trinidad said this has nothing to do with the controversy.


“Anybody could say anything. Anybody could connect the dots and link certain actions to what is happening,” Trinidad said.

“That leave has been filed last month, that has been pre-arranged before, pre-planned and it has been approved already even before the issue came out,” he added.

Meanwhile, AFP spokesperson Francel Margareth Padilla said the military respect Carlos’ silence surrounding the issue.

“We respect his decision to go on leave,” Padilla said in an ambush interview when asked if the AFP tried to reach Carlos.

To date, Padilla categorically stated that there is no investigation yet with regards to Carlos’ purported involvement with the embassy’s new model claim.

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“The AFP do not react on unverified, unvetted sources,” Padilla said of the embassy’s claim.

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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, China, West Philippine Sea

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