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Solon urges palace to recall country's ambassador to Beijing

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Cagayan de Oro City Second District Representative Rufus B. Rodriguez has urged President Ferdinand Marcos to recall the country's ambassador to Beijing after the recent near-collision of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel and the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG), which was witnessed by Filipino and foreign journalists, including those from news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) aboard the BRP Malabrigo. According to reports of the latest incident, a CCG vessel cut off PCG’s BRP Malapascua, which was patrolling near Ayungin Shoal together with BRP Malabrigo. "We would have collided on the bow had I not cut the engine and thrown it in reverse," BRP Malapascua Commanding Officer Rodel Hernandez shared. Hernandez described the encounter as one between David and Goliath since the CCG vessel was more than twice the size of the 144-foot Malapascua.

The Solon stressed that the country had already filed hundreds of protest notes with Beijing regarding China's aggressive behavior and bullying in the West Philippine Sea. In 2022 alone, 193 protest notes were already served in Beijing, including the 65 protest notes issued by the Marcos administration.

China has turned a deaf ear to the protests, thus the continued bullying and harassment of the Coast Guard patrols and fishermen from the northern part of the country, particularly in Pangasinan and Zambales, until the south in Palawan.

"Aside from the usual filing of a diplomatic note, we should order our principal representative in China to return home. He should not go back to Beijing until we receive a response from the Chinese government apologizing for their harassment and bullying tactics in the West Philippine Sea and committing to rectify their misconduct," Rodriguez said. The Philippine government has denounced the Chinese Coast Guard’s provocative actions, while Beijing has tossed the accusation at the Philippine Coast Guard. "It’s unthinkable for a tiny craft like BRP Malapascua to provoke a huge ship like a Chinese Coast Guard patrol vessel. It defies logic," he said.

According to reports, the Chinese Coast Guard has routinely harassed and bullied PCG ships and small boats resupplying Filipino soldiers stationed in Ayungin Shoal off Palawan, including the fishermen in Scarborough Shoal.

The Mindanao lawmaker lauded the reaction of the United States, showing support for the country after the recent near-collision incident that happened in the Ayungin Shoal area. The solon welcomes the unequivocal, clear commitment made by the US government, stressing that the reiteration of US obligations under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty is reassuring to all Filipinos.


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