AFP: Increasing Chinese aggression won’t deter PH resupply missions

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AGGRESSIVE. China Coast Guard personnel brandish bladed and pointed weapons on Filipino troops carrying out a humanitarian rotation and resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal on June 17, 2024. The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Thursday (June 20) said Beijing’s increased aggression will not deter Manila from carrying out rotation and resupply missions to its troops in the West Philippine Sea. (Photo courtesy of the AFP)

MANILA – China’s increasingly aggressive actions will not prevent the Philippines from carrying out rotation and resupply (RORE) missions to its troops in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Thursday.

“That is our obligation and that is our right. We will not leave Ayungin Shoal,” Brawner said in a message to reporters.

This came in the wake of the China Coast Guard’s (CCG) violent acts against Filipino soldiers during the June 17 resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in the WPS.

Photos and videos released by the AFP showed that CCG personnel launched dangerous maneuvers, rammed, boarded and looted Philippine rigid-hull rubber boats (RHIBs) involved in the resupply mission.

CCG troops also damaged sensitive equipment of the RHIBs and punctured the craft, aside from threatening the Filipino crew members with pointed and bladed weapons.

At least one Philippine Navy personnel lost a finger in the melee.

“Only pirates do this. Only pirates board, steal, and destroy ships, equipment, and belongings,” Brawner said.

DESTROYED. The windshield, communications and navigational equipment along with a cellphone were intentionally destroyed by the CCG when they forcibly towed and looted the Philippine military’s 9-meter rigid hull inflatable boat during a humanitarian rotation and resupply mission at BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal on June 17, 2024. (Photo courtesy of the AFP)

Brawner, however, stressed bravery and dedication of the troops involved in the RORE stood out against the “overwhelming and armed aggression by a careless world superpower.”

“The good thing is that we fought. The Chinese Coast Guard personnel had bladed weapons and our personnel fought with bare hands. That is what’s important. We were outnumbered and their weapons were unexpected but our personnel fought with everything that they had,” he said. (PNA)

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