The National Task Force on West Philippine Sea issued a statement Friday expressing outrage over the latest incident of harassment by Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia on the civilian vessels that conducted rotation and resupply sortie at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal yesterday.

NTF WPS said it is standing by the statement of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the recently concluded 43rd ASEAN Summit to pursue peaceful means of resolving issues among claimant countries in the South China Sea.

While the two civilian vessels were able to succeasfully carry on with their mission, NTF-WPS said what the CCG and CMM did were deplorable acts.

“The task force strongly deplores and condemns the continued illegal
aggressive, and destabilizing conduct of the CCG and the CMM within our
nation’s EEZ,” the statent read.

“We reiterate what President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said during the recently concluded 43rd ASEAN Summit regarding the South China Sea: “Practical cooperation in the maritime domain can only flourish with an enabling environment of regional peace, security, and stability anchored in nternational law.” We call on all to do their part in ensuring a peaceful and rules-based international order in the oceans,” it added.

CCG and militia vessels posing as fishing vessels once again blocked Unaizah May 1 (UM1) and Unaizah May 2 (UM2) while enroute to Ayungin Shoal for a RORE mission on Friday morning.

NTF WPS emphasized that the mission was a routine and regular operations well within the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), reiterating and reemphasizing further that the “operations are pursuant to our Government’s legitimate exercise of its
administrative functions and jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea, firmly anchored on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the final and binding 2016 Arbitral Award [by the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration.]”

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