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Saturday, July 13, 2024

China’s provocative actions in Ayungin Shoal ‘unacceptable’—senators

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Senate President Pro Tempore and Defense Committee chairperson Jinggoy Estrada said on Wednesday he was deeply outraged and extremely troubled by the latest hostile actions of the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) near Ayungin Shoal.

“This is an unacceptable act of aggression, a direct affront to our sovereignty, and a blatant violation of our rights under international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” said Estrada, reacting to the fresh hostilities that emerged in the area this week.

Estrada said the Philippines has consistently sought peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve maritime disputes, adhering to mutual respect and cooperation principles.

“Yet the CCG demonstrated a complete disregard for these principles and has engaged in provocative actions to escalate tensions in our territorial waters further. “

The senator demanded that China cease these provocative actions immediately and respect the Philippines’ sovereign rights, covering the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone in the territorial waters.

Estrada warned that our government will take all necessary measures to protect our people and uphold our national interests.

“I urge the international community to come together in denouncing this imprudent behavior and to lend their support to our plea for justice and accountability,” he said.

Senator Nancy Binay also called on the CCG to exercise restraint and urged them to be good friends and neighbors with the Philippines as our country is to them.

“If China indeed values our friendship, we want them to understand that we don’t hurt our friends. We are never the aggressors,” she further stated.

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