Senators Express Strong Reactions To Latest Ayungin Shoal Incident

Senators Respond to Latest Aggression in Ayungin Shoal Incident

AYUNGIN SHOAL – Three senators aired their opinions on the latest incident in Ayungin shoal.

Three senators expressed their views on China’s recent actions in Ayungin Shoal on Tuesday, with one cautioning Filipinos against fully trusting the circulating information about the incident.

Senator Imee Marcos, during an ambush interview, urged Filipinos to stay out of the US-China conflict. This follows the US’s announcement that China’s actions of towing and ramming a Philippine vessel in Ayungin Shoal on June 17 resulted in “bodily injury” to a Filipino crew member.

Photo Source: GMA News

Marcos emphasized the importance of verifying all available information and suggested conducting independent interviews with the Filipinos who were on the vessel at the time of the incident.

“In the meantime, let us interview the Filipinos involved. Let’s not get too involved. Let’s not put too much faith on what either side is saying. As we know, the Americans and the Chinese are trying to outdo each other. So let’s do our own investigation…”

“Let’s talk to the Filipinos on board the ship. Let’s look at the videos and other evidence to find out what really happened because there could be other versions,” Marcos added.

Photo Source: GMA News

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, chair of the Senate panel on national defense and security, expressed his profound outrage and concern over China’s actions.

In a statement, Estrada emphasized that the Philippines has consistently pursued peaceful and diplomatic resolutions to maritime disputes, adhering to principles of mutual respect and cooperation. However, he criticized the Chinese Coast Guard for ignoring these principles and engaging in provocative actions that escalate tensions in Philippine territorial waters.

Estrada strongly demanded that China cease these provocative actions immediately and respect the Philippines’ sovereign rights. He assured that the government will take all necessary measures to protect its people and uphold national interests.

He also urged the international community to unite and condemn China’s actions.

“The Philippines has consistently sought peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve maritime disputes, adhering to mutual respect and cooperation principles. Yet the Chinese Coast Guard demonstrated a complete disregard for these principles and has engaged in provocative actions to escalate tensions in our territorial waters further,” said Estrada in a statement.

“I strongly demand that China cease these provocative actions immediately and respect our sovereign rights. Our government will take all necessary measures to protect our people and uphold our national interests,” he said.

Photo Source: GMA News

Senator JV Ejercito commented that incidents like this highlight the urgent need to “accelerate” the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities.

“Such dangerous actions, including the ramming and towing of Philippine vessels, destabilize our region, jeopardize the safety of our citizens, and undermine our sovereign rights,” said Ejercito in a separate statement.

“China must be held accountable for these trespasses and for endangering Filipino lives. It is imperative for the government to utilize all available means to protect our people and our nation,” he added.

Despite China’s ongoing incursions and aggression in Philippine waters, Senator JV Ejercito asserted that “the Philippines will not be intimidated.”

“The West Philippine Sea is rightfully ours, and we will continue to defend it,” he said.

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