SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE LOREN LEGARDA’S STATEMENT ON CHINA COAST GUARD’S DANGEROUS MANEUVERS AND ILLEGAL USE OF WATER CANNONS DURING THE RECENT RESUPPLY MISSIONAugust 7, 2023
We condemn in the highest form China Coast Guard’s (CCG’s) recent blockage, dangerous maneuvers, and use of water cannons against the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessels escorting boats chartered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on 5 August 2023. These actions are not only reckless, but they are also illegal and have endangered the lives of Filipinos.
This violates international conventions, endangering our crew at sea. We demand that the China Coast Guard respect our sovereign rights, refrain from hindering freedom of navigation, and hold those involved accountable. Safe access to Ayungin Shoal is crucial for supplying our military troops.
China must follow international law. Ayungin Shoal is a low tide elevation part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, pursuant to the 1982 UNCLOS and as affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award. This is final and binding.
We commend the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for its prompt action by filing a diplomatic protest against China and summoning Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian over the incident. We also call on the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure the well-being of those involved.