House leaders have lauded the valiant stand of the Filipino soldiers who managed to elude the Chinese blockade on the former’s way to the Ayungin Shoal which lies within the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.
Party-list Reps. Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption and Walden Bello of Akbayan were referring to the group of Philippine Marines and Coastguard who navigated the Philippine ship away from the Chinese blockade en route to providing the supplies for their comrades aboard BRP Sierra Madre which guards the Ayungin Shoal.
“Despite our military’s lack and inferiority vs. China, our Marines showed great military skills and tactic by maneuvering our ship to shallow waters so that we can pass through the Chinese Coast Guard. We salute our Marines for sacrificing their lives and for fighting for what is ours, even in the face of a bully that is China,” Tugna said in a text message.
The Chinese ship repeatedly tried to shoo away the Filipinos, but to no avail.
“That is bravery in the face of China’s military might. The courageous act of our soldiers demonstrated our strong will and desire to defend and secure our country’s sovereignty. We may be a small country but we will not be cowed,” Bello, Chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, pointed out.
“We also congratulate our Coast Guard for successfully overcoming the intimidation of several Chinese maritime vessels and completing a resupply mission to our soldiers stationed at the Ayungin Shoal,” Bello added.
The presence of Chinese vessels in the area is due to China’s claims that Ayungin Shoal is within its territory—a violation of the international law or the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas which states that islands within the 200 nautical miles of a concerned country’s border is its exclusive economic zone.
LLANESCA T. PANTI