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HomeHot TopicsAtin Ito Mission Breaks Chinese Blockade, Affirms Filipino Presence

Atin Ito Mission Breaks Chinese Blockade, Affirms Filipino Presence

The aim of the Atin Ito coalition, which was to deliver relief and assert Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, was not without its problems, but in the end successful. Its advance force broke through a Chinese roadblock on May 16, allowing the organizers to declare success even though they had given up on directly attacking Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal).

The Atin Ito convoy set off on May 15 with the dual goals of defending Philippine rights in the disputed waters—which Beijing continues to claim even after an international court rules against it—and supplying fisherman with necessities. Reports of Chinese vessels discouraging Filipino fishermen prompted them to change their course.

Spokesperson Emman Hizon confirmed the success of their advance team in delivering aid to Filipino fishermen despite constant surveillance by a Chinese Navy vessel. Comprised of members from various organizations, the advance team’s resilience and resourcefulness were evident as they navigated through obstacles to fulfill their mission.

Rafaela David, a co-convener of Atin Ito, celebrated the accomplishment as a testament to Filipino spirit, emphasizing ingenuity, determination, and love for country as driving forces behind their success.

Despite being shadowed by Chinese vessels, the main contingent of the convoy proceeded towards Scarborough Shoal, underlining their commitment to asserting Filipino presence in the region. The convoy’s journey was closely monitored by both Chinese and Philippine coast guard vessels.

The Chinese foreign ministry issued warnings against any infringement on their sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal, highlighting the tense geopolitical backdrop of the region. However, Atin Ito organizer Edicio de la Torre emphasized the convoy’s broader purpose of reaffirming Filipino rights and presence in their own waters.

Having accomplished their mission of delivering aid to fishermen and conducting symbolic acts of solidarity, the convoy concluded its journey and returned to Subic Fish Port. Despite facing a significant blockade force, the success of the mission was praised by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who commended the coalition’s courage and resilience.

China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea continue to spark tensions with neighboring countries and raise concerns about potential escalation. However, efforts like those of the Atin Ito coalition serve as a reminder of the enduring resolve of Filipino people to defend their sovereignty and rights in the face of adversity.

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