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NSC on sea aggression: China in for a surprise

MANILA, Philippines — China is “in for a rude surprise” if it thinks it can intimidate Filipinos with its increasingly aggressive behavior in Philippine waters, National Security Council (NSC) assistant director general Jonathan Malaya said yesterday.

He made the pronouncement a day after President Marcos declared that his administration would take action against Chinese hostile acts in the West Philippines Sea, saying, “Filipinos do not yield.”

Without giving details, Marcos said any response to future Chinese provocation would be “proportionate, deliberate and reasonable.”

In an interview with Facts First, Malaya said Filipinos would not let another hostile Chinese action go unanswered.

“Let me assure the public that if the Chinese think they can force us into submission because we’ve already suffered physical injuries or damage to our ships, then they’ll be in for a rude surprise,” Malaya said. He declined to share details.

“They should not underestimate the Filipino fighting spirit,” he added, stressing that the Philippines is on the side of the law and rules-based international order, citing the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal decision that invalidated China’s massive claim in the South China Sea.

“We shall remain undaunted notwithstanding what is happening,” said Malaya, who is also the spokesman for the National Task Force on the WPS (NTF-WPS).

He maintained that China was apparently “testing our resolve” and looking for gaps and weaknesses in the Philippines’ position.

He said it’s China that is being humiliated by its actions in the West Philippine Sea, as the international community has become more aware of its sinister nature as an Asian power.

He also chided China for resorting to war mongering to make it appear that it is the Philippines which provoked the Chinese coast guard into using powerful water cannons to stop a Filipino boat en route to Ayungin Shoal to deliver provisions for troops on the BRP Sierra Madre last week.

Beijing claimed the rotation and resupply mission (RORE) was carrying construction materials to fortify the Sierra Madre.

“It shouldn’t matter what we’re carrying. In the first place it’s ours, it’s a long-standing outpost, it’s been