News Release

PH concerned over China’s latest maneuver

The Philippine government on Friday expressed concern over China’s latest aggressive actions on Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The National Maritime Council (NMC) reported that one Philippine Navy personnel was injured in the recent incident marred by Chinese provocations.

“The national leadership view this – the incidence with concern and that’s the reason why the National Maritime Council (NMC) was convened this afternoon,” Presidential Assistant on Maritime Concerns retired General Andres Centino said in a Malacañang press briefing.

Centino said this is already the second instance that the NMC convened and came up with the policy recommendations for President Marcos’ approval and consideration.

“And we are — we will be awaiting for the guidance of the President as regards to the policy recommendations that we submitted this afternoon,” he added.

Despite the incident, the NMC earlier recommended to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. the continuation of resupply missions to Ayungin Shoal for troops stationed in BRP Sierra Madre despite the incident.

It took around 12 hours to rescue personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), with one getting wounded after the China Coast Guard (CCG) rammed a Philippine Navy vessel on June 17 in an attempt to disrupt the resupply mission.

Reports earlier said eight AFP sailors were hurt in the incident but Centino clarified only one was injured.

It was also reported that the incident saw CCG officers use tear gas, brandish bladed weapons, tug at the Philippine Navy’s rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), and throw rocks at soldiers moored beside the BRP Sierra Madre.

PCG spokesperson for WPS Jay Tarriela also on Friday said they learned about the incident at 10 am on Monday, but the rescue of the injured personnel concluded at past 10:30 pm the same day.

According to Centino, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) visited the troops in the Western Command and saw the troops’ morale.

“He was able to talk with those who were sent to conduct the mission. While the mission did not go as planned, we saw that the morale of our troops is high and we even made sure that those soldiers were recognized and acknowledged for their actions, their behavior in handling the incident that happened last Monday,” he said.