Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. (Photo courtesy of the AFP)

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. has ordered Filipino troops to “respond appropriately” should there be another harassment by China Coast Guard forces during future rotation and reprovisioning (RoRe) deployments in Ayungin Shoal.

Brawner commanded the troops to react appropriately following the incident on June 17, during which CCG and maritime militia personnel harassed RoRe teams, causing damage to various equipment such as rigid-hull inflatable boats and communication and navigational instruments, and resulting in a serious injury to a member of the Philippine Navy.

Referring to the regulations governing such confrontations, Brawner stated that every individual possesses the entitlement to protect themselves using all means necessary.

“Pero meron tayong steps na sinusunod sa ROE. So, for instance, merong umatake sa akin, ang gagawin natin is that we will apply the same level of force that would allow us to defend ourselves,” Brawner said in a media interview after the AFP command conference in Camp Aguinaldo last Thursday, July 4.

He said the just like the June 17 incident, if the troops are attacked with knives and bolos, they will react using the same weapons to defend themselves.

“Hindi po yung lalabis. That’s the concept of proportionality. So hindi po natin siya babarilin,” he added.