Marcos awards Navy troops hurt in Rore mission

PALAWAN. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. awarded on Sunday, June 23, 2024, the Philippine Navy personnel who took part in the routine rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to Ayungin Shoal on June 17.
PALAWAN. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. awarded on Sunday, June 23, 2024, the Philippine Navy personnel who took part in the routine rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to Ayungin Shoal on June 17.Photo from Bongbong Marcos FB page

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. awarded on Sunday, June 23, 2024, the Philippine Navy personnel who took part in the routine rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to Ayungin Shoal on June 17.

Marcos bestowed the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kampilan to Seaman First Class Underwater Operator Jeffrey Facundo, who lost a thumb due to China Coast Guard’s “intentional high-speed ramming” of a Philippine vessel.

The others who were part of the mission received the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kamagi.

In his speech, the chief executive commended the troops for exercising “greatest restraints amidst intense provocation.”

“You demonstrated to the world that the Filipino spirit is one that is brave, determined, and yet is compassionate,” said Marcos.

Marcos urged the troops to continue fulfilling their duties of defending the nation with integrity and respect, reiterating that the Philippines does not instigate war, as its goal is to provide a peaceful and prosperous life for every Filipino.

“We refuse to play by the rules that force us to choose sides in a great power competition. No government that truly exists in the service of the people will invite danger or harm to lives and livelihood. And that is why, in defending the nation, we stay true to our Filipino nature that we would like to settle all these issues peacefully,” he said.

“And in the performance of our duties, we will not resort to the use of force or intimidation, or deliberately inflict injury or harm to anyone. But at the same time, we stand firm. Our calm and peaceful disposition should not be mistaken for acquiescence. History itself can tell that we have never, never in the history of the Philippines, yielded to any foreign power,” he added.

The President reassured the troops that the nation will continue to rally behind them and that the National Government will continue to provide all their needs and look after their welfare as well as their families.

Harassment

On June 17, CCG personnel harassed navy personnel who were conducting a Rore mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. They used tear gas, pointed troops bladed weapons, punctured the Philippine Navy’s rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and destroyed the communication system of the boat as well as the cellphones of the Filipino personnel.

It took around 12 hours to rescue the wounded personnel due to the continued harassment of China.

The CCG earlier said their personnel boarded a Philippine ship to conduct an “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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