DFA denounces China over recent illegal, aggressive action in Ayungin Shoal

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday denounced the “illegal and aggressive actions” of the Chinese Coast Guard near the Ayungin Shoal on June 17, which severely injured a Philippine Navy personnel and damaged Filipino vessels.

In a statement, the DFA expressed “grave concern” over the incident that happened during a humanitarian mission to the BRP Sierra Madre.

Before the incident, the agency lamented the Philippines had been working to “rebuild a conducive environment for dialogue and consultation” with China on the South China Sea.

“This cannot be achieved if China’s words do not match their actions on the waters,” according to the DFA statement.

“We expect China to act sincerely and responsibly, and refrain from behavior that puts to risk the safety of personnel and vessels,” the released statement also indicated.

The DFA statement also reiterated the call for China to adhere to international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award.

The same also told China to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in its own waters.

As of posting, the DFA has yet to provide details on the specific actions it will take over the latest incident.

This year alone, the Philippines has filed at least 30 notes verbales against China’s incursions and activities in the West Philippine Sea. (PNA)