Defense chief: AFP to resist reckless, illegal China behavior in WPS

By Priam Nepomuceno

June 17, 2024, 9:49 pm

<p>Philippine Coast Guard <em>(Photo courtesy of PCG)</em></p>

Philippine Coast Guard (Photo courtesy of PCG)

MANILA – China's dangerous and reckless behavior in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) will "be resisted" by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), assured Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. Monday night.

He issued the statement after the China Coast Guard (CCG) claimed that a Philippine replenishment ship illegally entered Ren' ai Reef (Ayungin Shoal) on Monday, forcing its officers to take appropriate actions.

"Their behavior contravenes their statements of good faith and decency. We will exert our utmost in order to fulfill our sworn mandate to protect our territorial integrity, sovereignty and sovereign rights," Teodoro said.

The CCG alleged the Filipino ship ignored its warnings and approached Chinese ships unprofessionally, causing a collision.

Teodoro emphasized that it has been clear to the international community that China’s actions are the true obstacles to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

In a separate statement, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) confirmed that Chinese "illegal and aggressive actions" have disrupted a routine rotation and resupply mission for troops manning the BRP Sierra Madre (LS-57) in Ayungin Shoal.

"The People’s Liberation Army-Navy, CCG and Chinese Maritime Militia vessels engaged in dangerous maneuvers, including ramming and towing. Despite the illegal, aggressive, and reckless actions by the Chinese maritime forces, our personnel showed restraint and professionalism, refrained from escalating the tension, and carried on with their mission," the task force said.

No other details were provided.

"The Philippines is committed to pursuing peaceful and responsible actions in accordance with international law. It is our expectation that China, as a member of the international community, would also do the same," the NTF-WPS said. (PNA)