Thursday, November 18, 2021

Gov’t to continue defending PH sovereignty, territory: Palace

THE DUTERTE  administration will continue to defend the Philippines’ sovereignty and territory, Malacañang said on Thursday.

 
“As we have in the past, we will continue to assert our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over our territory,” said acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in a press statement.
 
Nograles’ statement came after the Western Command reported that three Chinese Coast Guard vessels “blocked and water cannoned” two Philippine supply boats on a resupply mission to military personnel onboard BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

No one was hurt but the Philippine vessels had to abort their resupply mission.
 
Nograles lauded the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for its swift action on the Ayungin Shoal incident.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs has acted swiftly and has condemned the incident involving the Chinese Coast Guard,” he said.

In a separate statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. conveyed to Chinese President Xi Jinping the Philippines’ “outrage, condemnation, and protest of the incident.”

Locsin said the Chinese Coast Guard’s acts are “illegal” and “threatens the special relationship” between the Philippines and China.

“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 (Second Thomas Shoal). We do not ask permission to do what we need to do in our territory.”

Ayungin Shoal, which is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), is an integral part of the Philippines, as well as the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Hence, the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over Ayungin Shoal. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)


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