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Philippines Navy Stands Firm Against China’s Actions

Philippine Navy spokesman Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad emphasized on Wednesday that Filipinos will not be provoked into firing the first shot against the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG), despite their aggressive actions.

Trinidad accused CCG personnel of acting like pirates and barbarians when they disrupted a resupply mission for troops on the BRP Sierra Madre through dangerous high-speed ramming attacks and the use of bladed weapons. These actions, he said, were attempts to provoke a response from the Filipinos.

The Chinese forcibly boarded Philippine boats, resulting in injuries to several Filipinos during the altercation.

Trinidad noted that while the CCG had missile boats, they did not intend to use them because their goal was to provoke the Philippines into making the first aggressive move.

The military is now re-evaluating its strategy for future resupply missions to the Ayungin Shoal, aware of China’s tactics to push the Philippines into firing the first shot.

Trinidad reported that the Chinese had stolen high-powered firearms, damaged boats, and destroyed communications equipment during the incident. He condemned their actions as piracy and barbaric behavior, stating that such actions do not reflect a country aspiring to be a global power.

Trinidad urged other countries to be cautious in their dealings with China, as the Chinese would not hesitate to commit similar acts against others. The military is now planning to ensure the success of future resupply missions despite China’s provocations.

He explained that the conflict at sea is part of a larger issue of China encroaching on the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and those of other countries, which was previously debunked by the 2016 Arbitral Award.

Trinidad emphasized that the Philippines will continue to act within the bounds of law and exercise restraint. He stated that Chinese actions are designed to provoke a mistake from the Filipinos, but the Philippine Navy will remain disciplined and rules-based.

Philippine Navy personnel involved in the confrontation were instructed that the use of force is not authorized unless in self-defense.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) awarded the crew of two multi-role response vessels for their role in providing security during resupply missions to the BRP Sierra Madre.

PCG commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan commended the crew for their professionalism and determination in maintaining a peaceful and rules-based order in the region.

PCG Commodore Jay Tarriela posted on social media that China will continue to assert its claims in the West Philippine Sea, regardless of the stance of the next Philippine president. He emphasized the importance of transparency in addressing these issues.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Self Defense Force Chief of Joint Staff Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida declared support for the Philippines in light of the recent incident, expressing gratitude for the support from Japan.

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