In his speech on Monday at the ASEAN-China Summit attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Rodrigo Duterte strongly condemned the interception and bombing of China’s water cannon on military supply boats that were supposed to carry only food and other equipment to the troops stationed at BRP Sierra Madre.
“We abhor the recent event in the Ayungin shoal and view with grave concern other similar developments. This does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership,” said Duterte.
The President stressed compliance with UNCLOS and the historic decision of the UN Arbitral Tribunal in 2016.
“Let us exercise utmost self-restraint and avoid the escalation of tensions. And most importantly, let us earnestly work towards the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law,” said Duterte.
“There is simply no other way out of this colossal problem but the rule of law,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, other presidential aspirants also condemned that incident in Ayungin shoal.
“If something happen to them under my watch, somebody will pay, definitely. Immaterial who they are, immaterial how powerful they are, they have to pay,” said Isko Moreno.
Duterte calls out China over Ayungin shoal incident
Meanwhile, international maritime affairs law expert Jay Batongbacal called for the vote of the next leader who will stand up for Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.
“Yung susunod po, hindi dapat po uli tayo magpabilog ng ulo. Huwag naman po tayo boboto ng liderato na itutuloy lang nang basta-basta itong dati nang maling polisiya ng ating administrasyon,” said Batongbacal.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced that the departure of another resupply mission from Oyster bay in Palawan to Ayungin shoal continued today.
“The Chinese will not interfere per my conversation with the Chinese ambassador,” said Lorenzana.
The Chinese Embassy also assured them that they would not be blocked, but China requested not to have an escort.