MANILA, Philippines- The Armed Forces Western Command (WESCOM) announced this Thursday that no incident was reported during the resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, despite the reported presence of Chinese vessels.
It said Philippine Navy-contracted commercial boats entered and exited Ayungin Shoal without an escort or “untoward incident” for the third time this Wednesday.
“The absence of Philippine government escort vessels was deliberate. We are exhausting all available means to peacefully co-exist until all West Philippine Sea issues are finally resolved,” pahayag ni WESCOM chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.
“Our current thrust is part of the trust-building efforts we are undertaking in response to the guidance of the President to exhaust all means to resolve the issues in the West Philippine Sea. Hence, continuing dialogues with Chinese authorities is one such approach,” dagdag niya.
Based on the military statement, the crew of the Philippine supply boats said they saw two Chinese Coast Guard and five Chinese militia vessels in the area.
Based on WESCOM, the government will take care of the morale and welfare of the BRP Sierra Madre sailors even if there are Chinese vessels hovering in the contested territory.
“Today’s successful operations only show that if we continue to engage our neighbors in peaceful and constructive dialogues, we will understand each other better,” sabi ni Carlos.
“We look forward to more interaction with China as our two governments seek a peaceful resolution to this regional impasse,” dagdag niya.
The military resupplied BRP Sierra Madre with food, water, medicine, and more, as well as maintenance and repair equipment.
“This resupply mission is the10th that WESCOM has conducted this year and the fourth since President Bongbong Marcos assumed the helm as the Commander-in-Chief. The situation since then has remarkably improved,” said WESCOM spokesperson Major Cherryl Tindog. RNT/SA
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