DND hails France, SoKor, Japan for support to PH in WPS collision

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 24, 2023, 10:37 am

<p>DND Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. <em>(PNA file photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)</em></p>

DND Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. (PNA file photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)

MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday thanked the governments of France, South Korea, and Japan for expressing their support to the country following China's latest provocations when its vessels hit Filipino ships engaged in a routine rotation and resupply (RORE) mission in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

"We wish to acknowledge the statements issued by the Governments of France, South Korea, and Japan supporting the Philippines in the latest incident wherein Chinese vessels, operating illegally, aggressively, and provocatively, hit Philippine ships in the WPS," the DND said in a statement.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the Philippine government views the latest aggression by China as a blatant violation of international law.

The Filipino supply boat Unaiza May 2 and the Philippine Coast Guard's BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409), were on a RORE mission to the detachment aboard the BRP Sierra Madre (LS-57) in Ayungin Shoal when Chinese ships maneuvering aggressively, hit and damaged the two Filipino vessels on Oct. 22.

Another resupply boat, the Unaiza May 1, managed to deliver its cargo to the BRP Sierra Madre.

Teodoro added that China has no legal right or authority to conduct law enforcement operations in Philippine territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.

"This is a serious escalation of the illegal activities conducted by the Chinese government in the WPS in complete disregard of any norm or convention of international law," Teodoro said. (PNA)