Philippines set to resume resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal in South China Sea
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he had instructed the military to send supply ships back to the Second Thomas Shoal, which is occupied by the Philippines and that China “will not interfere” this time.
On Thursday, the Philippines condemned “with the strongest possible actions of three Chinese coast guard ships that they say intercepted and used water cannons on supply ships headed for Second Thomas Shoal, which is located at called Ayungin Shoal.
Lorenzana said: “The Chinese will not interfere in my conversation with the Chinese ambassador (Huang Xilian).
Lorenzana said he and Huang talked “from the evening of the 16th during the incident until yesterday, November 20th.”
The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
There will be no navy or coast guard escorting the Philippine supply ships as they return to Second Thomas Shoal, Lorenzana said.
“They (China) have no right to impede, impede or harass our ships in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone), whether we are fishing or carrying supplies for their detachment. we’re in the Sierra Madre (navy ship) at Ayungin Shoal,” he said.
Meanwhile, the commander of the Philippine military’s Western Command, Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez, said the number of Chinese coast guard ships in the second Thomas Shoal had dropped to two on Saturday night from three. pcs on Tuesday.
He said Chinese maritime militia ships had also left the shoal. China has denied running a militia.
According to National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, there are 19 ships near Second Thomas Shoal and 45 ships near Thitu Island, another area occupied by the Philippines.