PINASALAMATAN at pinapurihan ni Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner ang matatapang na mga tauhan na lulan ng dalawang supply boat na nagsagawa ng matagumpay na Rotation and Resupply (RoRe) mission sa BRP Sierra Madre (LS 57) sa Ayungin Shoal, malapit sa Palawan.
Binigyang pagkilala rin ni Gen. Brawner ang tulong ng Philippine Coast Guard para matiyak ang seguridad ng dalawang resupply boats na sinasabing nagawang ma-outmaneuver ang mga barko ng China Coast Guard at Chinese militia na nagtangkang i-challenge at harangin sila sa papasok ng Ayungin Shoal.
“Aside from ensuring the well-being of our personnel manning BRP Sierra Madre, this feat also demonstrated to the whole world the Filipinos firm resolve to assert our sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the shoal which is within the country’s maritime zones,” ani Brawner.
“The AFP will support the country’s fulfillment of its obligations under existing international laws and conventions. The performance of such duty shall always be in a manner that promotes peace and in adherence to International Humanitarian Law,” dagdag pa ng heneral.
Pinabulaanan naman ng Philippine Coast Guard ang pahayag ng Chinese Coast Guard na pinalusot lamang nila ang resupply mission sa Ayungin Shoal dahil sa humanitarian reason.
“That is not true that they just allowed the supply boats to enter Ayungin Shoal…They are lying when they said they are extending humanitarian consideration,” ani Commodore Jay Tarriela, Coast Guard spokesman on the West Philippine Sea, sa isang panayam.
Binulgar pa ni Tarriela, apat na Chinese Coast Guard vessels, at apat na Chinese militia boats ang nagtangkang humarang sa Philippine Coast Guard at dalawang supply boats na makapasok sa Ayungin Shoal.
“They made sure we would have a hard time. Coast Guard skippers and supply boats were able to outmaneuver those Chinese vessels that were blocking the entrance of Ayungin Shoal,” ani Tarriela.
(JESSE KABEL RUIZ)39