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BBM vows response to Chinese bullying

(UPDATE) PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday vowed to mount a «proportionate, deliberate and reasonable» response to the «unabating, and illegal, coercive, aggressive and dangerous attacks» by the China Coast Guard and the Chinese Maritime Militia in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

In a statement released by the Palace, the President said the relevant government agencies would put together «a response and countermeasure package» in the next few weeks based on the recommendations of National Security Adviser Eduardo Año and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. to address Chinese actions against Filipino vessels and personnel in the WPS.

«We seek no conflict with any nation, more so nations that purport and claim to be our friends, but we will not be cowed into silence, submission or subservience. Filipinos do not yield,» he said.

The President also said the Philippines was in «constant communication» with allies, partners and friends in the international community.

«They have offered to help us on what the Philippines requires to protect and secure our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction while ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,» Marcos said.

«I have given them our requirements, and we have been assured that they will be addressed,» he added.

Marcos issued the statement after the China Coast Guard used water cannons against a Philippine vessel on a resupply mission to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, which is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone. The attack caused heavy damage to the resupply boat and injured four servicemen.


Earlier, the National Security Council (NSC) said the President would rescind whatever agreement China may have reached on the WPS with his predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte, because it would be detrimental to the country's interests.

At the same time, Sen. Jose «Jinggoy» Estrada said his father, former president Joseph Estrada, had never agreed to tow the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin as China had claimed. He said this was confirmed by Estrada's defense secretary at the time, Orly Mercado.

Meanwhile, journalists denounced as a «barefaced lie» Chinese accusations that they had