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TURNING POINT | Putting an End to Repetitive Protest

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews) – Once again, the Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China over its aggressions on the West Philippine Sea over the weekend, said a spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday. A Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel water-cannoned a Philippine resupply boat to stop it from reaching the BRP Sierra Madre, the country’s marine outpost in Ayungin Shoal. The resupply boat, ML Kalayaan, was drenched and its engine conked out as result. It was towed by a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel away from the perilous situation. The mast of the escort PCG vessel, BRP Cabra, was also damaged after being hit directly by the water cannon.

After a Tom and Jerry maneuver, one of the PH wooden resupply ships, ML Unaizah Mae I, managed somehow to reach BRP Sierra Madre despite having been rammed by a CCG vessel along the way.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. was with the resupply mission on Sunday, 10 December 2023, aboard the Unizah Mae I and saw firsthand the harassment of the China Coast Guard of Filipino vessels. He stayed on the wooden resupply boat overnight until it reached the BRP Sierra Madre. Brawner visited the maritime outpost accompanied by the AFP Western Command commander, Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, the following day.

It’s high time that the resupply mission adopts a different strategy to avoid deadly naval collisions and other regrettable incidents that may escalate into a shooting war in the region.

Perhaps airlifting supplies as suggested by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez may be tried.

Meanwhile, the provoking incidents of aggression which are getting perilous over time ought to get the attention of world bodies concerned with global security and peace. A little pressure from the international community may check Chinese dangerous aggressions in the navigational waters of the South China Sea.

There ought to be an end to our endless and meaningless protests. The Chinese simply shrug them off; they are not affected in any way.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental)


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