The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is worried about possible worse accidents with China during the Philippines’s next resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal.
“Parang pinitik lang tayo sa tenga, but we’re worried if something happens …they might deliberately ram our ships endangering the lives of our sailors,” AFP Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. said in Joseph Morong’s report on “24 Oras.”
The AFP stressed it does not want war, and is only protecting the country’s exclusive economic zone.
On October 22, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) said a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel collided with an AFP-contracted boat sailing to Ayungin for a resupply mission.
NTF-WPS said the “dangerous blocking maneuvers” of CCG vessel 5203 (CCGV 5203) caused the collision with the AFP-contracted indigenous resupply boat Unaiza May 2 (UM2) approximately 13.5 nautical miles east northeast of the BRP Sierra Madre.
CCG had said on it “lawfully” blocked Philippine vessels transporting “illegal construction materials” to a warship at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
Brawner said the sea dispute has reached online as pro-China vloggers are in the country to diminish the credibility of the Philippines.
“What we can do is to just come out with the truth… bantayan natin baka nainfiltrate na tayo sa ating bansa,” he said.
One propaganda being spread is that the United States is just using the Philippines against China.
“Why they shouldn’t believe Chinese narratives…Nakakainsulto sa Pilipino, it assumes we can’t think for ourselves and stand up for our own rights, it’s looking down on us, it really disgusts me,” Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said.
Brawner also said China must not tell the Philippines that the latter should not repair the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.
“They themselves have created these artificial islands. Hindi naman tayo nakialam, hindi naman natin sinabi na don’t do that. Hindi naman natin sinabi na don’t bring in missiles systems into these artificial islands…napakalaki nung imbalance,” he said.—Jiselle Anne Casucian/LDF, GMA Integrated News