China has no right to shoo away Philippine ships transporting provisions for soldiers in the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. Such action constitutes “a clear and urgent threat to the territorial rights of the Philippines under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” or UNCLOS, as our Dept. of Foreign Affairs has stated. This latest action of China show it is really vent on annexing the shoal whether by hook or by crook, not minding any more the laws regarding ownership of the shoal.
What will happen to soldiers who were waiting for their much-needed provisions? They are the lone presence in the shoal and to prevent supplies from reaching them is clearly a human rights violation by China. Soldiers may go without meals for days in battle or elsewhere, but they can easily scrounge for root crops and leaves to survive.
In the Ayungin Shoal, it is pure water around them and to be out of supplies for long would be devastating to them. China, in its haste to claim the shoal, disregards earlier existing agreements or what is deemed legal and appropriate. It is but right to go on protesting against China for these continued infractions.
China sees itself as strong with its army and military might. To continue being oppressed by China like it does to us, we in turn, should continue to stand up against it for as long as it takes.
Abner B. Siejo
San Juan City