AFP: 'We will practice maximum tolerance' in West Philippine Sea

AFP: ‘We will practice maximum tolerance’ in West Philippine Sea

/ 12:16 PM February 26, 2024

AFP: 'We will practice maximum tolerance' in West Philippine Sea

FILE PHOTO: Members of elite units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) march in Camp Aguinaldo in this 2016 photo. The AFP said it “will practice maximum tolerance” to address “any challenges [from] foreign forces” in the West Philippine Sea. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “will practice maximum tolerance” to address “any challenges [from] foreign forces” in the West Philippine Sea.

AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said they support the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies operating in the disputed waters.

The AFP’s statement followed the latest incident between PCG and China Coast Guard (CCG)  in Scarborough Shoal, known as Panatag Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.


READ: Philippines accuses China of attempting to block another vessel

“The AFP supports the maritime law enforcement operation of the PCG and other maritime law enforcement agencies,” Padilla told on Monday.

“For our part, any challenges [from] foreign forces are addressed with the utmost professionalism, and we will practice maximum tolerance,” she added.

READ: PCG: China jamming tracking signal of PH ships in WPS

Padilla stressed that the AFP will continue its mandate to protect the country’s territory.

“We will assert our presence in the [West Philippine Sea] to protect our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and national interests,” she pointed out.


On Sunday, PCG said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ BRP Datu Sanday was supplying fuel to fishermen near the Scarborough Shoal when it was harassed by a CCG vessel and three other Chinese ships on Feb. 22.

BRP Datu Sanday was deployed in the area from  Feb 21 as part of the government’s commitment to increase its presence off Scarborough Shoal after CCG personnel harassed Filipino fisherfolk last month.

On Jan. 12, fisherman Jack Tabat witnessed CCG personnel forcing Filipino fishers to throw shells they had gathered from Scarborough back into the sea and then drove them away.

Tabat took videos of the incident that made rounds on social media.

There was no presence of  PCG and BFAR vessels when that incident occurred, prompting the government to increase its presence in the area.

China seized control of Scarborough’s lagoon in 2012 following CCG’s standoff with Philippine vessels, in line with Beijing’s belief that it has jurisdiction over almost the entire South China Sea, which includes the West Philippine Sea.

In 2013, the Philippines lodged a case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands.

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Manila challenged China’s nine-dash line at the time and won a favorable ruling that invalidated Beijing’s claims in July 2016.

The landmark decision also covered Scarborough Shoal, which it declared a traditional fishing ground that should be shared among neighboring countries.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: Armed Forces of the Philippines, West Philippine Sea

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