MANILA — Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said resupply missions to the Philippine Marine Corps contingent in Ayungin Shoal will continue.
He made this statement Wednesday after noting that the scheduled resupply for Ayungin Shoal, slated for last week, was cancelled due to then impending ruling of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration.
Lorenzana said the mission was scrubbed to avoid giving the impression that the Philippines is trying to provoke China.
“There was a scheduled resupply sometime last week, but we postponed it because of the impending ruling to avoid giving the impression that we are trying to provoke China. I don’t know when the next resupply will be but definitely we are going there to resupply them by any means,” the DND chief stressed.
The Philippines has Marine units deployed in Ayungin Shoal, Pagasa (Thitu) Island, Lawak (Nanshan) Island, Parola (Northeast Cay) Island, Patag (Flat) Island, Kota (Loaita) Island, Rizal (Commodore) Reef, Likas (West York) Island, and Panata (Lankiam Cay) Island.
At 5 p.m. July 12 (Manila time), the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration handed down its decision on the case which invalidated China’s claim over its “historic rights” to the disputed waters, stressing that its ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ claim has no legal basis.
The ruling also added that China violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone through meddling with Philippine fishing and oil exploration in the region, allowing the illegal entry of Chinese fishermen into the disputed waters and causing harm to marine environment in the region through its massive reclamation activities.
Such actions, according to the tribunal, has also caused the escalation of tension between the two parties. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/northboundasia.com