China’s actions in Ayungin Shoal not an armed attack – Palace

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 06:03 PM June 21, 2024

This screengrab taken from a handout video filmed on June 17, 2024 and released by Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) on June 19 shows Chinese coast guard personnel (L,R) aboard their inflatable boats blocking Philippine navy boats (C) during a confrontation at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippine military said on June 19, the Chinese coast guard rammed and boarded Filipino navy boats in a violent confrontation in the South China Sea this week in which a Filipino sailor lost a thumb. China defended its actions, with its foreign ministry saying that "no direct measures" were taken against Filipino personnel. ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES-PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE / AFP

This screengrab taken from a handout video filmed on June 17, 2024 and released by Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) on June 19 shows Chinese coast guard personnel (L,R) aboard their inflatable boats blocking Philippine navy boats (C) during a confrontation at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippine military said on June 19, the Chinese coast guard rammed and boarded Filipino navy boats in a violent confrontation in the South China Sea this week in which a Filipino sailor lost a thumb. China defended its actions, with its foreign ministry saying that “no direct measures” were taken against Filipino personnel. ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES-PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The government does not yet consider China’s recent aggression in the Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas), which resulted in an injury of naval personnel, as an “armed attack.”

In a media briefing on Friday, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said the incident in Ayungin Shoal may have only just been a “misunderstanding or accident.”

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“No, this was probably a misunderstanding or accident. We are not yet ready to classify this as an armed attack,” Bersamin said.

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“Mga nakita namin (what we only saw were) bolo, axe, and nothing beyond that,” he added.

Bersamin was referring to the ramming incident in Ayungin Shoal between China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels and a Philippine resupply ship on its way to BRP Sierra Madre, which occurred in the wee hours of June 17.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said the CCG also used water cannons and even boarded Philippine vessels.

READ: West Philippine Sea: Filipino sailors fought armed CCGs ‘with bare hands’

It was also revealed that the incident resulted in a Philippine Navy sailor’s severed thumb, with several other naval personnel sustaining minor injuries.

READ: PH Navy sailor loses thumb, others injured in CCG ramming incident

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Meanwhile, because China’s actions wasn’t counted as an “armed attack,” Bersamin also shut down notions of invoking the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US, saying that it hasn’t even been considered in their discussions yet.

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