AFP confirms severe injury of navy troop due to China’s harassment

Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea
Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea (File Photo)

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, that a Philippine Navy personnel was “severely injured” in the latest harassment by China to a routine rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal in West Philippine Sea (WPS).

In a statement, AFP chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) Colonel Xerxes Trinidad said the injured personnel had been safely evacuated and was immediately given medical treatment.

Trinidad, however, did not disclose what particular injury the Filipino soldier sustained.

He said the China Coast Guard (CCG) subjected a Philippine vessel to an “intentional high-speed ramming” during the latest Rore on June 17.

“The CCG's continued aggressive behavior and unprofessional conduct towards a legitimate humanitarian mission is unacceptable. They must restrain themselves to avoid escalating tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS),” said Trinidad.

“The AFP remains committed to maintaining our presence in the WPS, adhering to international law to protect our seas, our rights, and our future,” he added.

The CCG earlier said their personnel boarded a Philippine ship for a conduct of “inspection” after it “illegally” intruded their territorial waters off Ren'ai Reef, locally known as Ayungin Shoal in the South China Sea.

It said it is in accordance with their regulation that “trespassers” in the South China Sea should be arrested.

The CCG maintained that their actions were "reasonable, lawful, professional and standardized" as it warned the Philippines against any form of infringement or provocation as “futile.”

China refused to recognize the arbitral ruling invalidating their claim of almost the entire WPS. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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