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Kick out China envoy — Akbayan

June 19, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 181 views

IN a strong denunciation, Akbayan Party decried the recent brazen assault by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) on Philippine vessels undertaking a crucial rotation and resupply (RORE) mission to Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

“Kasuklam-suklam! This is a vile and barbaric act of intimidation in our own exclusive economic zone,” said Akbayan Party president Rafaela David.

“The Chinese Coast Guard has descended to the depths of thuggery, acting as goons and a scourge of the West Philippine Sea. Their reprehensible conduct lays bare their disregard for international law and human dignity,” she added.

Reports indicated that the CCG deliberately targeted all six Philippine vessels involved in the mission, including rigid-hulled inflatable boats, which were forcibly punctured.

The primary vessel was rammed and subsequently towed, isolated from the rest of the convoy to obstruct any rescue efforts.

Another media report said CCG personnel boarded an inflatable boat, seized weapons from the Filipino frontliners, and then rammed the boat, causing significant injuries.

Among the injured, a member of the Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG), reportedly sustained a severe injury, losing a finger.

“Expel China’s ambassador, surrender Chinese assailants. This is a despicable and unprovoked attack.

“We demand an immediate and strong response from our government, including the expulsion of the Chinese envoy to the Philippines and China’s surrender of its personnel responsible for causing serious harm to our frontliners and damage to our vessels. This is an act of deliberate violence aimed at our frontliners. China must be held accountable for this appalling transgression,” she said.

Akbayan called on the Philippine government to seriously consider enhanced cooperation with international allies through “joint coast guard patrols” to address shared concerns over China’s aggressive actions in the region.

“Many coast guards are civilian in nature. As such, joint coast guard patrols with allied nations align with the principle of civilian supremacy over militarization. Such collaborations demonstrate a united front committed to upholding the principles of freedom of navigation and international law. This collective effort is crucial in maintaining regional peace and stability,” David emphasized.

David highlighted the importance of promoting civilian activities and joint fishing initiatives with other countries as a peaceful response to China’s militarization in the area.

“Engaging in joint fishing ventures in traditional fishing grounds with other nations, where we have a shared history of fishing before China’s aggressive actions, can help further civilianize the West Philippine Sea,” she explained.

By strengthening both national and international efforts, Akbayan believes the Philippines can better protect its interests and maintain stability in the West Philippine Sea amidst growing tensions.