Senators air their opinions on latest Ayungin Shoal incident

Senators air their opinions on latest Ayungin Shoal incident

/ 10:20 PM June 18, 2024

Sen. Imee Marcos answers queries from the media during an ambush interview on the sideline of Liga ng mga Barangay Leyte Provincial Chapter Annual Provincial Congress which she attended as a guest of honor and speaker in Pasay City on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. —Noy Morcoso/

MANILA, Philippines — Three senators on Tuesday aired their stance on China’s recent aggression in Ayungin Shoal, and one of them advised Filipinos to be wary of “putting too much faith” on information being spread regarding the incident.

Sen. Imee Marcos, speaking to reporters in an ambush interview, said Filipinos shouldn’t get involved in the rift between the United States and China. This, after the US disclosed that China’s towing and ramming of a Philippine vessel in Ayungin Shoal on June 17 caused “bodily injury” to a Filipino personnel.


READ: US condemns China over Ayungin incident which caused ‘bodily injury’


For Marcos, what needs to be done is to verify all the details available and as much as possible conduct own interviews on Filipinos onboard the vessel when the incident transpired.

“In the meantime, let us interview the Filipinos involved. Let’s not get too involved. Let’s not put too much faith on what either side is saying. As we know, the Americans and the Chinese are trying to outdo each other. So let’s do our own investigation,” said Marcos.

READ: Año: China vessels ‘engaged in ramming, towing’ during Ayungin resupply

“Let’s talk to the Filipinos on board the ship. Let’s look at the videos and other evidence to find out what really happened because there could be other versions,” she added.

Come together, denounce China

Meanwhile, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada — chairperson of the Senate panel on national defense and security – said he is “deeply outraged and extremely troubled” by China’s acts.

“The Philippines has consistently sought peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve maritime disputes, adhering to mutual respect and cooperation principles. Yet the Chinese Coast Guard demonstrated a complete disregard for these principles and has engaged in provocative actions to escalate tensions in our territorial waters further,” said Estrada in a statement.


“I strongly demand that China cease these provocative actions immediately and respect our sovereign rights. Our government will take all necessary measures to protect our people and uphold our national interests,” he said.

With this, he called on the international community to “come together” and denounce China’s acts.

PH will not be intimidated

For his part, Sen. JV Ejercito said incidents such as this only prove that there is a need to “speed up” the strengthening of the country’s defense posture.

“Such dangerous actions, including the ramming and towing of Philippine vessels, destabilize our region, jeopardize the safety of our citizens, and undermine our sovereign rights,” said Ejercito in a separate statement.

“China must be held accountable for these trespasses and for endangering Filipino lives. It is imperative for the government to utilize all available means to protect our people and our nation,” he added.

Despite China’s continued incursion and aggression in Philippine waters, Ejercito said “the Philippines will not be intimidated.”

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“The West Philippine Sea is rightfully ours, and we will continue to defend it,” he said.

TAGS: 3 senators, Ayungin Shoal, Imee Marcos, Jinggoy Estrada, JV Ejercito

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