MANILA, Nov 18 (Mabuhay) — Two Philippine supply boats on a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal were blocked and water cannoned by Chinese Coast Guard vessels on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Thursday.
Citing reports from the military’s Western Command, Locsin said the Philippine boats were on their way to transport food supplies to Filipino soldiers in Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal.
No one was hurt in the incident, but the boats had to abort their resupply mission, Locsin said.
Due to the incident, Locsin said he has conveyed “in the strongest terms” to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian and his Chinese counterpart in Beijing the Philippines’ “outrage, condemnation and protest of the incident.”
“I reminded China that a public vessel is covered by the Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty,” he added.
Locsin said the Ayungin Shoal is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), which is an integral part of the Philippines, as well as the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.
“The acts of the Chinese Coast Guard vessels are illegal. China has no law enforcement rights in and around these areas. They must take heed and back off,” he said.
“The Philippines will continue to provide supplies to our troops in Ayungin Shoal,” Locsin added. “We do not ask permission to do what we need to do in our territory.” (MNS)